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THOUGHTS 

3t> 



VARIOUS SUBJECTS 



BY REV. R. DONNELL, 

OF THE CUMBEBLAND PRE3BYTEBIAN CHURCR. 



<-Try all things, hold fast that which is good."— Petes. 



LOUISVILLE, KY. 

Published for the Board of Publication, 
BY REV. LEE ROY WOODS, PUBLISHING AGENT. 

1854. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, 
BY LEE ROY WOODS, 
For the Board of Publication, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the 
District of Kentucky. 



Printed «nd Stereotyped bjr 
MORTON & GRIBWOLD, LOPISYlLtK, KT. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



page. 

Preface to First Edition, - 3 

Preface to Third Edition, 5 

On the Character of God, - 9 

On the Trinity, - - - 12 

On the Creation of Man, 14 

On the Government of God, - ' 15 

On the Law of God, 16 

On the Fall of Man. 20 

On the Character of the Mediator, 21 

On the Extent of the Atonement, - 22 

On the Operation of the Holy Spirit, 24 

On the Will of Man, - 27 

On Man's Authority to Believe on Christ, .... 30 

On Experimental Religion, 34 

On Faith and Regeneration, - 38 

Cardinal Points, - 43 

On Election, - - - - 50 

Perse vererance of the Saints, 53 

Free Moral Agency, --.<*--.- 90 

Predestination and Foreknowledge, or Knowledge and Decree, 98 

The Personalty and Office of the Holy Spirit. - - - - 101 

A Synopsis of the Bible Doctrines in their Order, - - -. 107 

On Sauctification, - - - - . * . . - m 

On Original Sin, 116 

On the Resurrection, .... ... j2l 

On Baptism, . , - 125 

The Sabbath, . - ... - 130 

On Missions, 134 

The Church wants more Ministers of the Right Stamp, - - 139 

The Church wants more Mothers, 143 

The Church wants more Sisters, 146 

Letter on Church Doctrines, ------- 149 

The Interests of the Church, 154 

Religion of the Bible, - 155 



y TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Comment on Jade Ninth, - 158 

Devils casting out Devils, ....... 161 

A Short Sermon from a Long Text, - * - - 165 

Confession of Faith, -* - - - - - - 1 69 

Efficiency in the Church, - 172 

A View of the Present and the Past, 175 

Comment on 1 Peter iv, 12, - 179 

Theological Class at Lebanon., Tennessee, - - - - 184 

He was a Burning and a Shining Light, .... 187 

On Free Communion, - - - - - - - 188 

Why do we Sit Stiil 189 

Sin and Holiness, I9i 

When may we Know an Enemy or Friend? ... - 192 

Who is in the Fault ? ..... 1 95 

On Building Churches, ....... 196 

Church Business, 193 

Claims of the Different Denominations, ... 200 

Persecution has Contributed to the Spread of the Gospel, - 203 

Be Patient in Tribulation, ... ... 207 

Revivals— General Assembly, - ... 210 

Christian Fellowship, .... ... 213 



APPENDIX. 

Brief Historical Sketch of the Cumberland Presbyterian Chui th, 



215 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION • 



In a country of equal rights, it is the privilege of every 
one to think freely, investigate fairly, and explain in the 
most simple, plain and candid manner. Truth acknowledges 
no dependence on sophistry for success. It relies alone 
upon fair argument, and, when properly understood, 
appears well even in a homely dress. 

It is the duty of every branch of the Church, when cir- 
cumstances require it, to give her view of what the Bible 
teaches. Concealment, double-dealing and mental reser- 
vations, in such cases, should always be carefully avoided. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians have adopted a system 
of doctrines, in the belief and practice of which they are, 
perhaps, as firm and uniform as any other denomination. 
While they claim the privilege of believing that this system 
is fully sustained by the word of God, they are very far 
from arrogating to themselves infallibility in interpret- 
ing the Holy Scriptures. They have ever maintained, that 
a difference in subordinate points of doctrine, ought not to 
constitute separate communions, or destroy the unity of 
the church of Christ. 

Although they have adopted and published to the world, 
a Confession of Faith, and a system of Church Govern- 
ment, yet they hate probably been remiss in not giving 



vi 



PREFACE. 



,hese formularies a more general circulation. In this they 
ve entirely singular. Other branches of the Church exer- 
aje a laudible diligence in putting the volume containing 
fl&eir peculiarities in the hand of every individual within 
i:\3ir reach. They thereby manifest not only sincerity in 
Ink belief, but a wish to disseminate what they deem 

• ( rrect principles. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians have heretofore, mani- 

* kted but little interest in writing and publishing arguments 
iox the purpose of defending the doctrines of their Church. 
Their fields of operation have been large and white unto 
harvest and have required the active and constant labors 
of all their preachers. This, in connection with a desire to 
fraternize with all religious denominations, has been, per- 
haps, of some disadvantage to them. It is still hoped, 
however, that they will forever banish that little sectarian 
bigotry that has on some occasions emanated from the 
presses of other branches of the Church. 

The following thoughts and historical sketch have been 
elicited by frequent applications from abroad, for informa- 
tion concerning the doctrines and origin of the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Church, of which the writer has the honor of 
being a member. He hopes they will not infringe upon 
that spirit of harmony and union which he wishes at all 
times to prevail among evangelical denominations. 



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION. 



Several years ago the author consented to the publica- 
tion of a pamphlet entitled " Miscellaneous Thoughts on 
several subjects of Divinity, so much controverted in the 
World." This little work, so far as appears, met with the 
general approbation of the Church of which he is a 
member and minister. 

Long has he been urged by many of his brethren 
to prepare and publish to the world an enlarged edi- 
tion of this production. With these urgent solicitations, 
he has ever felt inclined to comply. But his nume- 
rous and pressing calls, have hitherto prevented him. 
Being one of the oldest ministers of his denomination, 
the care for all the Churches devolved to some extent 
upon his mind. His presence was loudly and im- 
periously called for in many parts of the Church, 
which necessarily enlarged the field of his ministerial 
operations, as well as multiplied his many and arduous 
duties. Necessarily, much of his time and labors 
have been spent from home. 

During the period in which he has endeavored to 
meet these numerous and pressing calls, he has from 
time to time, as circumstances might suggest to his 
mind, snatched a few hurried moments from other en- 
gagements, to throw a few other miscellaneous thoughts 
together for the columns of the " Banner of Peace," 
and other religious periodicals of the Church. Having 
at length, become advanced in life, and well worn in 



viii 



PREFACE. 



the service of the Church, and in the cause of his 
Divine Master, he has, of necessity, become somewhat 
more local. 

To meet the present demands of the Church, and 
to enable him with more convenience hereafter to re- 
vise and enlarge his little Book, the author has re- 
solved to collect from the files of his religious papers, 
the short pieces written by him from time to time, 
and add these to Miscellaneous Thoughts, and thus 
enlarge his Miscellaneous Book, and send it out to a 
Miscellaneous Public. Should life be continued a few 
years, he fondly hopes to have it in his power to 
enlarge this volume ; but should he be removed from 
the Church below before that time, he desires that some 
of his surviving brethren, more capable than he now 
feels himself to be, will take up this little volume 
and enlarge, extend and perpetuate these very miscel- 
laneous thoughts — they are thoughts upon the Bible — and, 
if according to that book, they are thoughts of truth. The 
only desire of the author, in sending these thoughts 
to the world, is, that they may inspire those under 
whose observation they may happen to fall, with thoughts 
of truth — that thought may thus inspire thought, and 
the truth be perpetuated in the Church, and in the 
world. When the general mass of mind shall all 
think according to the truth, then will all be freo 
from error and sin, and be sanctified and happy. 

TnE Author. 

Athens, Ala., May 8, 1851 



MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS, 



ON THE CHARACTER OF GOD. 

" God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and un- 
changeable in his wisdom, power, holiness, justice ? 
goodness, and truth," possessing, in himself, the 
rule and power of his own actions. 

There are two ideas concerning the nature and 
actions of Deity, both of which have been carried 
to extremes. One is, that holiness is not essential 
to his existence ; that it is not the source of the 
motives of his volitions and actions at all ; but that 
it depends entirely on his sovereign will. The 
other idea is, that God is essentially holy ; in 
which consists the essence of the moral law, 
which, when revealed, became the rule of action 
to every moral subject; yet, his knowledge and 
power, with regard to sovereign influence, and the 
certainty of action, are abridged. It maintains 
the certainty of rule and freedom of action, but 
leaves him without the knowledge and control of 
his subjects. 



10 



c N THE 



The following vu vv of this subject seems, to me, 
to accord best with Scripture and reason : — God is 
essentially holy, without which he could not exist ; 
for quality belongs both to spirit and matter. 
Matter cannot exist without the quality of gravi- 
tation; spirit cannot exist without a quality 
inclining it either to good or evil: therefore, 
you see that God must be holy. This is the 
lustre and glory of his character, the rule of all 
his volitions and actions, from which he can 
never deviate. All that he does is holy, not 
because he possesses absolute freedom of wilL 
but because his will always acts according to his 
own nature. If the holiness of God depended 
on his agency or volition, it follows, of course, 
that he could not be holy until he desired to 
be so ; or, in other Words, decreed what holiness 
should be. Then, here would be a volition 
without holiness, and, also, without motive. If 
there be no principle of rectitude in the Divine 
Being, nothing can be done right; if nothing cau 
be done right, there can be no glory. But, God 
is holy, and whatever consists with holiness, he 
can do ; and whatever will contribute most to 
his glory, He will do. 

As holiness is the principle, out of which all 
the motives and volitions of Deity spring, it is 
evident that he never could have decreed sin, 
without going out of himself for a motive: and 
jf he w T ere to go out of himself for a motive, he 



CHARACTER OF GOD 



11 



would cease to be a self-sufficient and perfect 
God. If holiness cannot present sin as a motive, 
God never could choose sin; if he could not 
make it his choice, he could not bring it to pass 
by his agency. 

Infinite knowledge is as essential to the 
existence of God as consummate holiness. While 
one renders every thing that he does correct, the 
other makes all things certain that transpire in 
the universe. 

Some have thought, that God's knowledge of 
events rested solely on his decrees; that he 
could not know that any thing would take place 
but for a previous .determination to bring it to 
pass. This hypothesis either proves that God 
is the author of sin, or that he knows nothing 
of its existence; both of which would be contrary 
to divine revelation. It is indispensable that an 
intelligent being should know all that he does* 
but it is not necessary for him to do all that he 
knows. If God can know any thing without 
first decreeing it, he can know many things. 
Hence, I conclude, that many events have and 
do transpire, which, though known unto God, 
were never predestinated by him. I think the 
following is a correct view of this subject. All 
things are known unto God, yet he knows 
some things as taking place on or by his own 
agency, others on the principle of necessity, and 
others on the principle of man's agency. 



12 



ON THE TRINITY. 



Knowledge must always go before volition 
a choice without understanding, is a blind choice, 
and the action is not that of an intelligent 
being. 



ON THE TKINITY. 

L There is one God. There is but one. 
There can be but one. But this one God is often 
spoken of in the Old Testament by means of 
the plural number, " Let us make man, &c." 
The New Testament reveals how many persons 
there are, and likewise their different names, viz., 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Unity of 
God is taught in the Bible. The Trinity and 
equality of God are taught in the Bible. The 
Trinity and inequality of God are taught in the 
Bible. 

2. There are certain peculiarities which con- 
stitute the Unity of God ; certain peculiarities 
which constitute the Trinity and equality Gf God; 
and certain peculiarities which constitute the 
Trinity and inequality of God. 

3. Infinite perfection constitutes the Unity of 
God. There is but one Infinity. There can be 
but one. There are three persons, subsistences, 
or agents, that possess infinite perfection and are 
one God. Power to will and work constitutes 



O N THE T R I N I T Y . 



13 



an agent. The Father has power to will and 
work, the Son has power to will and work; 
and the Holy Spirit has power to will and work; 
therefore they are all agents. They are not one 
agent, but one God, possessing infinite perfection. 
They are, distinctly, objects of worship. One is 
not older or greater than another. 

But there is a sense, in which they are three, 
and not equal. In the plan of man's redemption, 
one was appointed to overlook, and a name 
given him appropriate to his office. He is called 
the Father. Another to obey and suffer. He 
is called the Son. Another to apply the 
redemption to man, by converting and sanctifying 
him. He is called the Holy Ghost; not because 
he is more holy than the Father and the Son, but 
because his office is to make men holy. 

But the sceptic exclaims, I cannot understand 
this trinity in unity. I answer, your under- 
standing was never intended to be the standard 
of truth. There are many truths entirely above 
your comprehension. All that you have to do, or 
can do, is, to determine whether it would be more 
reasonable to receive or reject them. Did you 
ever know a circle three feet in circumference, 
inclose one of ten feet 1 Infinite fulness dwells in 
Christ. If he had a beginning in all his natures, 
he must be finite : then, here would be finite, 
containing infinite ! Whether the doctrine of the 
Trinity be comprehensible or not, it is a matter 



14 ON THE CREATION OF MAN. 

of Divine revelation, and demands our faith But 
am I told that mystery is inconsistent with - the 
idea of a revelation from God 1 This I deny. A 
revelation is a developement of facts, and is not at 
all affected, though the mode by which the facts 
exist, be withheld. The Trinity is a fact revealed, 
and, notwithstanding the mode of the existence 
of this fact is not disclosed, its claims upon our 
credulity cannot be denied, without becoming 
downright Atheists; for, a God existing in one 
person, is as incomprehensible as a God in three 
persons. 

It is something remarkable, that, in every age, 
where the unity of God, in opposition to the 
trinity, has been taught, infidels express great 
friendship for the system. This must be owing to 
the fact, that there is something in this system 
agreeable to the carnal heart, and contrary to 
Divine revelation. 



ON THE CREATION OF MAN. 

Man was created with wisdom to know, and 
power to do, all things which came within the 
capacity of created free agency. This alone 
could constitute him an accountable being. He, 
of course, possessed determining power. To say 
that man is a free agent, and yet hold that God 



ON THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. 15 

determines his will by physical power, is, to me, a 
palpable contradiction. The light and motive 
system, which is, that the will of man is deter- 
mined by an over balance of motive, is equally 
absurd ; for, in this case, the motive would contain 
the physical power. I, therefore, contend, that the 
agency of man, in his primitive state, consisted in 
an ability to decide between two opposite motives, 
neither of which exerted any physical force on his 
will. 

He was, also, either holy, or unholy, in nature : 
for we have already shown, that every intelligent 
being must have a disposing quality. That this 
quality in man was holy, is evident from the 
consideration, that nothing of a contrary character 
can proceed from a Holy God. 



ON THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. 

The government of God is a holy and ivise 
polity, including sovereignty, necessity, and free 
agency in his subjects. I am persuaded, it would 
be impossible to conceive of a well-organized 
government, without these three particulars. A 
government founded altogether on sovereignty is 
despotic, and precludes the necessity of laws, and 
destroys the freedom of its subjects. The design 
of laws, is, that the subjects may shape their 



16 



ON THE LAW OF GOD. 



characters by them. But, in a government 
possessing nothing but sovereignty, neither law 
nor subjects can have any thing to do in forming 
characters. Sovereignty, alone, does this. Then, 
why are laws necessary, and on what principle 
can subjects, in this case, either be accountable 
or punishable? It is neither an action nor the 
consequences of an action, abstractly considered, 
that renders the subject of it guilty ; but the 
exercise of free agency, in the perpetration of that 
action. Punishment then becomes necessary, 
and this prepares the way for the exercise of 
sovereignty. Thus, you see, how these three 
particulars harmonize in a well-organized govern- 
ment. 



ON THE LAW OF GOD, 

There is a universal and immutable law, 
generally called moral, which is not dependent 
on sovereign power for its existence, but grows 
out of the eternal reason of things, and regards 
all circumstances of intelligent beings, and enjoins 
the duties which they owe to God and each 
other. Without such a universal standard of right 
and wrong, there could be no distinction between 
virtue and vice. 



O N T HE LAW OF G O D . 



17 



This law is the great platform on which heaven 
itself is built, and on which Adam was placed in 
his state of innocence : but, while on trial, he fell 
from this platform, and can never return to it 
again, by any efforts of his own. If he is ever 
brought up to the righteousness and holy nature 
of the law, it must be by the aid of another. For 
this purpose, the gospel scheme has been irtro- 
duced, which serves as a ladder, on which fallen 
man may not only return to that state of holiness 
and happiness possessed by Adam before he fell, 
but to that confirmed state which he would have 
enjoyed, had he sustained his trial. But the 
gospel is not designed to destroy the law, any more 
than the making of a ladder to reach a platform, is 
designed to destroy that platform. 

If a sinner would ascend to this desirable plat- 
form, he must climb the gospel ladder, by 
repentance and faith. 

Every one must conform to this law that 
would be happy; and it is not material how f many 
rational beings there are, nor where they reside, 
nor how many peculiarities attend them, if they 
be conformed to it, they will be happy ; for they 
all harmonize : and, without a universal and 
immutable law, or standard of moral rectitude, 
they would not, and could not harmonize. This 
is evident, even from the law of matter. If, for 
instance, one particle of matter be under a 
different law from another, how could they 
2 



18 



ON THE LAW OF GOD. 



harmonize i If Mercury were under a different 
law from Venus, or the Earth, how could there 
be harmony in the solar system? There is 
harmony in the solar system ; therefore, there is 
an immutable and universal law of matter: and 
it is by the same law, that the lofty pine falls, 
that the atumnal leaf drops to the ground. And so 
we may suppose, not only of a great number 
of bodies of matter, but of a great number of 
peculiar systems of matter; yet, as far as matter 
extends, the immutable law by which it is 
governed, is founded ; hence, there is general 
harmony throughout the natural world. Just so 
in art: if you wish to build an edifice, it is not 
important where you prepare the materials, pro- 
vided you make every part according to an 
immutable rule: when put together, each joint 
will fit, and all will harmonize. But, if you were 
to make one part according to one rule, and 
another part according to another rule, your 
building would neither possess wisdom, strength, 
nor beauty. 

The same will apply to civil matters. Let the 
law of virtue be immutable, and millions of rational 
beings be governed by it, and general harmony 
will prevail; but if they were to be governed 
by laws differing in principle from each other 
it is evident a harmonious system could not be 
formed. For example: life and liberty are the 
natural rights of all men. On this principle the 



ON THE LAW 



OF GOD. 



19 



Constitution of the thirteen United States was 
adopted ; yet each State was tolerated to have a 
constitution of its own, adapted to its local 
circumstances, but could not introduce a single 
article contrary to the principles of the general 
Constitution. This would have destroyed the 
harmony of the several States. 

In ecclesiastical affairs, harmony is also based 
upon certain immutable principles. Love to God 
and each other, should constitute the grand princi- 
ples of our Church government. Embracing these 
principles of government, the Church may be 
divided into several territories, and each one 
introduce a discipline adapted to its own peculiar 
situation ; yet, if the grand principles (love to God 
and each other) be preserved, all can unite and 
form one harmonious body. But, wherever these 
immutable principles are touched by a creed or 
discipline, that denomination, holding such, can 
never be received into the union by the Great 
Head of the Church. 

Then, my brethren, let us be careful not to 
introduce such rules in our Churches, as would 
destroy love to the brethren, and produce distrac- 
tion in the body of Christ. We are all one 
in Christ Jesus : let us, therefore, keep the unity 
of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 



20 



on the fall of man 



ON THE FALL OF MAN. 

Man, though made upright, was not confirmed. 
To create an intelligent being in a confirmed state, 
would destroy his agency; but to create him pure 
and free, and give him a probation, in which his 
fidelity can be tested — if he prove faithful, he can, 
then, be confirmed according to character formed 
during the trial. The condition on which man was 
to be confirmed, was obedience to a positive com- 
mand, founded on the moral law. His agenc} r , in this 
state of trial, was tested in a very simple manner. 
God commanded Jiim not to eat of the fruit of the 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and 
enforced the prohibition by the threatening of 
death to himself and posterity ; but promised life 
in case of obedience. 

That Adam might have a view of the state in 
which he was placed, and, also, of that which was 
promised him, God placed two trees before him, 
viz., the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, 
which represented that the condition in which he 
was then placed admitted of his acting so as 
to know good and evil ; and the tree of life, repre- 
senting, that if he obeyed the positive precept, he 
should be confirmed in a slate of complete 
happiness. 



CHARACTER OF THE MEDIATOR. 21 



After man had violated the positive command, 
God placed a cherubim, with a flaming sword, 
which turned every way, to guard the tree of life, 
lest man should put forth his hand and eat, and 
live for ever, or be confirmed in a state of sin and 
misery. 



ON THE CHARACTER OF THE 
MEDIATOR. 

Jesus Christ possesses three si?nple distinct 
natures, viz., Supreme divinity, spirit, and matter. 
These three natures, though united in one person, 
are not amalgamated. Man has two simple natures: 
spirit, and matter. Spirit can suffer, but. cannot 
die; matter can both suffer and die. In addition 
to these two natures Jesus Christ has divine nature, 
which can neither suffer nor die. These three, 
constitute him a complete Mediator for man. Like 
man, for whose benefit he came into our world, he 
had a nature that could suffer and die; a nature 
that could suffer, but could not die; and, as God, 
he had a nature that could neither suffer nor die. 
This nature gave worth, or virtue, to the obedience 
and sufferings of his soul and body: so that a tem- 
porary suffering, on his part, was of more value, in 
the eye of the law, than eternal suffering, on our 
part, could have been. The soul and body being 



22 



ON THE EXTENT 



united to the divine nature, in person, it was 
impossible for the one always to suffer, or for 
the other to remain under the power of death. 
He, therefore, as our Mediator, took away the 
sting of death, and the power of the grave, and 
brought life and immortality to light. 

Man's death is a doctrine founded on the law: 
his resurrection is a doctrine founded on the 
Gospel: — For as in Adam, all died, even so, in 
Christ, shall all be made alive. As Christ arose 
for all men, he must have died for all; for the 
resurrection of all, is founded on his rising for all; 
and his rising for all, is founded on his having died 
for all: for he could not rise for any for whom he 
did not die. 



ON THE EXTENT OF THE 
ATONEMENT. 

All agree, that Jesus Christ died for sinners; 
but whether he died only for a part, or the whole 
of mankind, we differ. Those who contend, that 
Christ only died for a part of the human family, 
maintain, that that part was elected, from eternity, 
to everlasting life, and that the rest of mankind 
were fore-ordained to everlasting death. Others 
believe, that the death of Christ was a govern- 
mental thing, intended, merely, to restore the 



OF THE ATONEMENT. 



23 



honors of the law, by which, all legal barriers 
have been removed, and that God may, upon the 
principles of justice, save all the human family; 
yet, he only designs to save a part of mankind, 
whose hearts he changes by a sovereign act, 
without considering unbelief as a legal barrier, 
or sufficient to deprive the sinner of the blessing 
of regeneration. 

On this subject, / will also give my opinion. I 
believe, that Jesus Christ was chosen as the second 
head, and representative for all that were involved 
by the first Adam; that all the guilty, depraved 
sons and daughters of the first representative, were 
chosen in the second, not first to a state of glory, 
but to a state of trial. If they, during this state 
of probation, obtain a freedom from guilt, and a 
right to life eternal, then they are appointed to a 
state of glory. All mankind, by virtue of the 
atonement, have a personal opportunity of becom- 
ing confirmed for a state of happiness. 

The Gospel is proposed to us, as a covenant, in 
which we are made a party. We now have the 
terms of this covenant under consideration. But 
the Gospel would be vague, if no time was specified, 
in which these terms must be complied with. It is 
necessary for the will of man to determine, while 
the condition of this covenant is before him, to 
be saved by the second Adam. So soon as this 
determination takes place, he is justified — entitled 
to heaven; adopted into the heavenly family; and 



24 



OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT. 



sealed to the day of redemption. On the other 
hand, the sinner that determines to reject Christ, 
after having had a fair opportunity of embracing 
the benefits of his death, is also sealed to ever- 
lasting misery. 



ON THE OPERATION OF THE HOLY 
SPIRIT. 

All that I will now say on this subject, may be 
resolved into three parts: 

1st. The necessity of divine agency. 

2nd. On what divine influence is founded. 

3rd. The extent of this influence. 

There is a necessity for divine agency in the 
world, not only to reveal the plan of salvation, and 
establish, by prophecy and miracles, that plan; but 
to quicken the soul, by giving the true spiritual 
meaning of the system of salvation. Paul was 
alive without the lata once, but when the command- 
ment came, sin revived, and he died. He had been 
instructed in the letter of the commandment, but 
did not understand the spiritual meaning thereof. 
It was this spiritual meaning that he refers to, 
which came by the agency of the Holy Spirit, 
who dictated the commandment, and has not only 
a right to dictate, but, also, to explain his own 
doctrine. 



OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT. 



25 



If man were only guilty, a simple declaration 
of the fact would be sufficient; but he is depraved 
also, by which, I understand, the head sick, and 
heart faint. His heart is not only opposed to the 
plan by which he is to be saved, but his under- 
standing is dark, and he is ignorant of that plan* 
He, therefore, not only needs instruction, but 
quickening; for, no man can say, that Jesus is 
the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost : without holiness, 
no man shall see the Lord: and it belongs to his 
office to make men holy. There is, therefore, a 
necessity for divine influence on our hearts, in 
order to salvation; and what is necessary for the 
world, is necessary for every individual. 

But, secondly: On what is divine influence 
founded? Some say, on the revealed will, or 
Word of God; and the reason why the Spirit 
operates, is because men have that revelation; 
and his influence is only felt by those who have 
the Bible-, and, beyond the extent of the letter, 
there is no Spirit. But, I think, the only reason 
why the Spirit operates on the world, is because 
an atonement has been made for the world by 
the death of Christ. And, so far are his operations 
from beins founded on the revelation, that, the 
revelation is founded on his operation. There 
was a Spirit before there was a Bible, or a 
Preacher, or a Church; and the Bible, th<i 
Preacher, and the Church, are the effects of his. 
operation. He inspired the men who wrote the 



26 OPERATION OF THE SPIRIT. 

Bible; he calls the men who preach; convinces 
the sinner; and seals the believer to the day of 
complete redemption. 

Thirdly: As to the extent of divine operation, 
some, who maintain the agency of the Spirit, seem 
to limit his operations to those, and those only, 
who have the Bible, and other means of grace. 
They measure the extent of divine influence by 
the extent of the circulation of the written word. 
But, I think, we ought only to limit the Spirit's 
operation by the atonement. If, then, Christ 
tasted death for every man, and the atonement 
is made for the world, the world is the field of 
divine operation. I regard the written word, and 
all the means of grace, as excellent facilities of 
spiritual and moral instruction; yet, they only 
answer a similar purpose to that of a uselul 
apparatus in an institution of learning, in which 
the teacher's presence is still necessary, and his 
agency important; and, although his books may 
answer a valuable purpose, yet, he can learn a 
student without them. 

How many hearts were converted before there 
was a Bible ! It will not do to say that men 
only had the spirit of prophecy; they, also, must 
have had the spirit of conviction, to lead them to 
a knowledge of salvation. But, suppose we limit 
the spirit to the written word, or a knowledge of 
the written word, then, all infants, dying in infancy, 
as well as all idiots, are cut off from salvation. 



J 



ON THE WILL OF MAN. 27 



There is a beauty in the Trinity, and the most 
perfect unison of office, in our salvation. The 
Father loved the world — the Son died for the 
world — and, the Spirit convinces the ivorld. The 
office of the Spirit, is founded on the office of the 
Son; and the office of the Son, is founded on the 
office of the Father. The Father loved all, the 
Sun atoned for all, and the Spirit strives with all; 
and, to facilitate his work, he dictated the Bible — 
and now calls men to preach the Gospel, convinces 
the sinner, and sanctifies the believer. Oh, may 
the Spirit be poured out from on high, and the 
wilderness become a fruitful field, and the king- 
doms of this world become the kingdoms of our 
Lord and of his Christ. 



OxN THE WILL OF MAN. 

That man is accountable for his actions — that 
an accountable being must be free — and that a free 
agent must possess determining power somewhere, 
are ideas generally believed by Christians; but they 
differ very widely with regard to the origin of this 
power. Some think that man, though rational, is 
entirely incapable of volition or action, without the 
immediate agencv of God, notwithstanding motives 
from Heaven, Earth, and Hell, may be present. 



28 ON THE WILL OF MA N . 

Oihers believe that lie forms all his volitions in 
view of motives, without immediate agencv, and 
that the mind is preponderated by an over-balance 
of motive. Others, again, think, that the will is 
not determined by the immediate agency of G^d, 
nor yet by an over-balance of motive; bat. that 
man, though fallen, has power to determine right I 
and Wrong, without divine influence. Thev also 
deny the doctrine of the Trinity, and operations 
of the Holy Spirit; while others, although they 
admit the doctrine of the Trinity, the operations 
of the Spirit, and the influence of motive, to a 
certain extent, yet they contend, that the will is 
not determined by the immediate agency of God, 
nor by an over-balance of motive, and that man, 
in his fallen state, has no depraved self -determining 
power to do good; that without something to 
counteract his depraved nature, it would constantly 
determine his will to evil; and although he would 
choose sin freely, yet he would choose it necessa- 
rily, for he could choose nothing else. But they 
hold, that by the enlightening influence of the 
Holy Ghost, man's will is untrammelled, and 
restored to the privilege of choosing Heaven, as 
well as Hell. Hence, they think that he can do, 
under the Gospel, what he could not have done 
without it, and what he cannot do, when the 
influence of the Spirit shall be withdrawn from 
him. This last view of the will. I think, is 
correct, and it gives God all the glory of man's 



ON THE WILL OF MAN. 



29 



salvation, and lays the guilt of damnation at 
every sinner's door. 

But if it be said, that man, by being placed 
under a dispensation of mercy, and receiving the 
liiiht and influence of the Spirit of God, cannot 
determine either good or evil, without the sovereign 
and immediate agency of God, then, Divine agency 
must lie at the bottom of every volition and action 
of man, whether good or bad. This doctrine 
would present man as a mere instrument, and God 
the principal agent in all his actions, and must 
receive the praise or blame of all that is done. 
Indeed, upon this plan, I cannot see how sin could 
exist at all; for, if it be by the agency of God that 
man sins, he must decree all the actions of man; 
and if he both decree, and bring to pass, all that 
man does, by his oivn immediate agency, all that is 
done, must be right; for God can neither decree 
nor execute that which is wrong. Is not this the 
foundation of Universalism, and many other isms 
so destructive in the world? 

To hang every volition on the power of motive, 
alone, may conceal, but can never remove the 
difficulty just noticed. True, this scheme presents 
the will as choosing freely, but it also chooses 
necessarily; for, in whatever end of the scale you 
place the greatest weight, that end, of course, will 
fall; and it may fall freely, too: yet, if it cannot 
turn the other way, it falls necessarily. One penny- 
weight in the other end of the scale, would cause 




30 



on man's authority 



it to fall, and the first one to rise. So you see, that, 
to govern the will of man by an over balance of 
motive, as effectually destroys his accountability as 
to govern it by immediate agency. 

The doctrine that fallen man, unaided bv divine 
influence, can choose salvation, is also absurd. It 
robs God of all the glory of man's redemption, and 
is entirely inconsistent with the Bible. 

The truth, then, seems to be this: Fallen man 
can, upon the Gospel plan, choose life or death, 
blessing or cursing. This is abundantly evident 
from the word of God : " Choose you this day 
whom ye will serve;" Josh. xxiv. 15. "Ye will 
not come to me that ye might have life ;" John 
v. 40. " Whosoever will, let him take the water 
of life freely;" Rev. xxii. 17. 



ON MAN'S AUTHORITY TO BELIEVE 
IN CHRIST. 

Faith in Christ, is composed of two parts : 
assent and consent to be saved on Gospel terms. 
But is every sinner authorized to do this \ I 
answer, yes : every sinner to whom the Gospel 
is preached, has sufficient authority to believe that 
Christ died for him, and, therefore, is at liberty to 
believe in him. 



/' 



TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST, 31 

1. Every sinner has negative testimony to 
believe, that Christ died for him. " Say unto 
them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no 
pleasure in the death of the wicked;' Ezek. xxxiii. 
11. " The Lord is not slack concerning his promise' 
as some men count slackness, but is long suffering 
to us ward, not willing that any should perish ;" 
2 Pet. iii. 9. But negative testimony is not 
sufficient to induce a sinner to believe that God 
is willing to save him. Had God sent the whole 
human family to hell, without providing salvation 
for any, it would have been no more than the 
infliction of a just punishment; yet, he would have 
had no pleasure in their death ; therefore, a sinner 
must have positive, as well as negative testimony, 
before he can believe in Christ. This kind of 
testimony is also to be found in the Bible. "For 
God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son, that ivhosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life;" 
John iii. 16. " Who will have all mtn to be saved, 
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth 
1 Tim. ii 4. 

Before a minister of the Gospel can assure any 
sinner that Christ died for him. and call on him 
to believe, he must have authority to say, that lie 
died for every sinner. Without, such authority, 
he cannot urge one sinner to believe in Christ, 
without acting presumptuously. Nor has any 
sinner a right, without this knowledge, to believe 



32 on man's authority, 

in Christ : in so doing, he would also act pre- 
sumptuously. Therefore, a preacher must have 
evidence to believe that Christ died for all men, 
before he can offer salvation to any ; and a sinner 
must have evidence also to believe, that Christ 
tasted death for every man, before he can say he 
died for him. The Bible contains the names or' 
no particular individuals for whom Christ died. 
God makes no private communication to either 
preacher or sinner, on this subject; Therefore, 
it appears clear, that if God, the Father, only 
chose to save a part of mankind ; and God, the 
Son, only died for that part; that neither the 
elect nor non-elect can believe in Christ. It 
would certainly be presumption for the non-elect 
to believe that God was willing to save them ; 
it would be equally so, for the elect to belieye, 
without knowing that they were elected, and 
that Christ died for them. But how are they 
to know this ? Their names are not specified 
in the Bible; and to believe without the Bible, 
would be to believe without authority; and to 
believe without authority, would be acting pre- 
sumptuously. 

Suppose, for example, twenty men were in a 
state of starvation, and I were to make provision 
for one-half of them, and send a message to inform 
them of it, without mentioning any names; would 
he be authorized to say to any one of this twenty, 
that he was invited. Surely not: nor could any 



./ 



TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST. 



33 



one of the twenty, upon hearing this message, 
believe that he was interested in the provision. 
But, if I provide for the whole number, and send 
a messenger to apprize them of it, he is then 
authorized to invite all, and every one of the 
twenty can believe that the provision is for him, 
without acting presumptuously. Therefore, if the 
Gospel, in all its parts, be not for all, but only for 
a part of the human family, can a preacher in truth 
say, that it is for any individual sinner \ What 
would be more presumptuous, than for him to 
approach a sinner and inform him, that God had 
provided salvation for a part of Adam's race, and 
that he was one of that number. And it would 
be equally inconsistent for any sinner to conclude, 
that because God designs to save a part, therefore, 
he designs to save him. Thus, you see, that if 
Christ has not died intentionally for all men, no 
preacher has a right to invite any sinner to the 
Saviour; nor has any sinner a right to believe in 
him. 

But the fallen family of Adam have a more sure 
word of prophecy, where unto they would do well 
to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark 
place. They have general and particular testi- 
mony, as well as negative and positive, that Christ 
died intentionally to save them all. It is considered * 
a sound maxim in mathematics, that the whole is 
equal to all its parts, and that all the parts are 
equal to the whole. John informs us, that Christ 



I 

34 ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. 

is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours 
only, but also for the sins of the whole world; and 
Paul tells us, that he tasted death for every man. 
Therefore, if the provision in the Gospel be for 
all, and every individual, of the human family, 
then any and every sinner has authority to believe 
in Christ; and every minister of Jesus is at liberty, I 
nay, it is his duty, to offer salvation to every sinner, 
and to urge him to accept of it. In doing so, he 
is in no danger of transcending his authority: "Go 
ye into all the world, and preach my Gospel to 
every creature." Every part of the great whole, 
can, and ought to believe; and he that believeth 
not y shall be damned. 



ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. 

Man is depraved in heart, and sinful in conduct, 
and, of course, is an enemy to God, both by 
nature and practice. In conversion, he becomes 
reconciled to the character, and conformed to the 
government of God. This change is wrought by 
dhine agency, though not without the concurrence 
of man's Hgency. The sinner cannot be saved 
without God, and God will not save the sinner 
without his consent. 

Regeneration constitutes one link of the beau- 
tiful chain in the Gospel plan of salvation. 



ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. 35 

1. God loved the world. 2. The world was 
elected, in Christ, to a day of grace. 3. Christ 
made an atonement for the world. 4. The Spirit 
reproves the world. 5. The operations of the 
Spirit prepare the way for conviction. 6. Con- 
viction prepares the way for faith in Christ. 
7. Faith in Christ prepares the way for justifica- 
tion. 8. Then follows adoption. 9. Then the 
spirit of adoption, or regeneration. 10. Next, 
sanctification. or a life of holiness. 11. And then 
follows glorification. This completes the golden 
chain. Thus, you see, God provides and proposes, 
and man believes and receives. 

Sound theory lies at the bottom of experimental 
religion, but there is something to be felt in religion, 
as well as believed. 

Many hold a correct system of doctrines, but, it 
is to be feared, they have never felt the power of 
those doctrines on their hearts; have never had 
the fallow ground of their hearts broken up by 
genuine conviction, or known what it is to pass 
from death unto life. It is not at all astonishing 
that such persons should feel opposition to heart- 
felt religion in others, and regard all excitement on 
the subject of religion, as mere delusion. But 
what is more rational, than for a sinner to he 
excited about the salvation of his soul I If this 
does not interest his feelings, surely, nothing can. 
God is holy: he is unholy. A holy God will 
punish an unhoLv sinner. He feels this to be true, 



36 ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. 



and, in view of his danger, cries out, like the 
publican, God be merciful to me a sinner; or, like 
blind Bartimeus, Thou Son of David, have mercy 
on me; or, like the jailor, Sirs, what must I do to 
be saved? 

Some are disposed to apologize for this disorder, 
as it would now be called, by saying, that the jailor 
was converted in a miraculous way, or alarmed by 
an earthquake, &c. But, upon reading the history* 
it will be seen, that the earthquake was over 
before he awoke. Nor did he then discover any 
symptoms of conviction, but believing the prisoners 
were gone, would have taken his own life, had he 
not been prevented by Paul. When the apostle 
spoke to him, the Spirit of God presented his sins 
in array before him, he fell down, and cried out, as 
thousands have done since, Sirs, what must I do to 
be saved? and presently, we see him a converted 
man, rejoicing over his house. Thus, you see, the 
jailor was neither convicted nor converted by an 
earthquake, nor by any miraculous power, but by 
the operations of the Holy Ghost. 

Then, let those who oppose religious excite- 
ments, beware, lest they be found fighting against 
the Spirit of God. I know that people may weep, 
and make a noise, without much feeling; yet it is 
repugnant to every law of our nature, for deep 
feeling to exist, without some external signs of it. 

It is not for me to say, how long a sinner must 
be convicted, nor how loudly he must cry, before 



! 



ON EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. 37 

he can obtain religion ; but thus much I will say, 
he must be so sensible of his lost condition, that 
he will freely part with his sins for Christ. It is 
a matter of no moment with me, whether he fall 
down or stand up, be silent or cry aloud; he may 
do either, and not obtain salvation. This requires 
an unreserved surrender of the heart to Christ. 
But, as legal principles are interwoven in the very 
nature of man, he will not submit to be saved by 
another, until he has exhausted his own strength. 
And when he does all in his power, and entirely 
fails, upon the ground of his own merit — sees that 
it will not do to turn back to sin — feels the immi- 
nent danger of remaining where he is, and is 
so guilty and unworthy, that he is afraid to go 
forward — yet, this is the only alternative. He 
finds, if he wait to get a good heart before he 
goes to Christ, he never would go. Therefore; 
he casts his all upon the Saviour, or, in common 
language, gives up his heart to him, and rests alone 
on him for salvation, acknowledging that it would 
be just to damn him, though he is not willing to 
be damned. At that moment he is justified freely, 
and renewed iu the spirit of his mind. And, 
although all are not alike sensible that this is 
religion, yet all are sensible of the change. One 
thing they know, that, whereas, they were blind, 
now they see. Yet, owing to their preconceived 
opinions about how religion would come, and how 
ir would feel, and being disappointed in these 



38 FAITH AND REGENERATION. 

respects, it is not uncommon for those who are 
really horn of God, to he afraid to recognize the 
change as being religion. They have ohtained 
sight, bat. it is dim; they only see men as trees 
walking. This, however, is not the case with all. 
Some, at the moment of conversion, with an 
unfaltering voice, claim the spirit of adoption, 
and cry out, My Lord and my God. 



FAITH AND REGENERATION. 

We have often heard from the pulpit, and 
sometimes seen from the press, speculations with 
regard to the order in which Faith and Regenera- 
tion take place. Some suppose that Regeneration 
precedes Faith; others contend, -that Faith takes 
place first. As it relates to the nature of them, 
it is not important which is first; for they are I 
inseparably connected with ^ach other: yet, it is 
evident, that one must take place before the other, 
and, to pervert their order, would not only present 
a distorted system, but involve error. 

Faith is an act of our own minds, founded on 
testimony afforded by divine agency. If it be 
first, then salvation is suspended on the choice 
of man; but if Regeneration (''which is effected, 
as some say. by physical power, without the 
concurrence of man's agency,") precede Faith, 



i 



FAITH AND REGENERATION. 



39 



salvation is suspended on divine agency. If Faith 
be first, damnation is suspended on unbelief; but 
if Regeneration be first, then damnation is sus- 
pended on God's unwillingness to change the heart. 

In order to render this subject plain, to the 
weakest capacity, I will present Faith and 
Regeneration as tivo stakes, and from them, run 
to their beginning corners, and then, to their 
respective ends. Let us suppose Regeneration 
to be first : — 

Q. Are all regenerated? 
A. No. 

Q. Why are not all regenerated? 

A. Because the Holy Ghost will not do it. 

Q. Why will not the Holy Ghost regenerate all ? 

A. Because Christ never died intentionally to save all. 

Now, let us return. The Holy Ghost only 
regenerates those for whom Christ died — inten- 
tionally. Only those who are regenerated, can 
believe; only those who believe, can be justified; 
only those who are justified, can be adopted; 
only those who are adopted, can be glorified. 

I now suppose the following dialogue to take 
place between myself and a glorified saint :— 

Q. Why are you thus glorified ? 
A. Because I was adopted. 
Q. Why were you adopted ? 
A. Because I was justified. 
Q. Why were you justified? 
A. Because I believed. 
Q. Why did you believe ? 



40 



FAITH AND REGENERATION. 



A. Because I was regenerated. 
Q. Why were you regenerated ? 

A. The Spirit did it, without the concurrence of my 
agency. 

Q. Why did the Spirit act thus ? 

A. Because Christ died, intentionally, to save me. 

Q. Why did Christ die for you intentionally ? 

A. Because God loved me, and designed, from all eter- 
nity, to save me. 

This may appear plausible, until we examine its 
counterpart. There are some sinners in hell, to 
whom I propose the following questions: — 

Q. Why are you in hell ? 

A. Because we could not be glorified. 

Q. Why could you not be glorified ? 

A. Because we were never adopted. 

Q. Why were you not adopted ? 

A. Because we were not justified. 

Q. Why were you not justified ? 

A. Because we did not believe. 

Q. Why did you not believe ? 

A. Because we were not regenerated. 

Q. Why were you not regenerated ? 

A. Because the Spirit would not do it. 

Q. Why would not the Spirit change your hearts ? 

A. Because Christ never died for us, intentionally. 

Q. Why did He not die for you, intentionally f 

A. Because God never designed to save us. 

So, you see, by placing Regeneration before 
Faith, that the damnation, as well as salvation, 
of every sinner, is hung on divine agency. 

Now let us put Faith before Regeneration, and 
trace it to its origin, and see what will be the 



FAITH AND REGENERATION. 41 

result. First, Faith: thence to testimony, which is 
afforded, that the world may helieve: thence to 
the Holy Spirit, who income to convince the world 
of sin, Sfc: thence to the death of Christ: thence 
to the love of God, which is the beginning corner 
of Fairh. Let us now run back from the begin- 
ning corner, to the end. First, God loved die 
world; second, Christ died for the world; third, 
the Spirit strives with the world; fourth, the world 
may believe; fifth, those who believe, are justified; 
sixth, those who are justified, are adopted; seventh, 
those who are adopted, receive the Spirit of adop- 
tion, or, are regenerated; eighth, those who are 
regenerated, are sanctified; and, those who are 
sanctified, are also glorified. 

With this order of things, let me inquire of a 
glorified saint: — 

Q. Why are you in heaven? 
A. Because I was sanctified. 
Q. Why were you sanctified ? 
A. Because I was regenerated. 
Q. Why were you regenerated ? 
A. Because I was adopted. 
Q. Why were you adopted ? 
A. Because I was justified. 
Q. Why were you justified? 
A. Because I believed. 
Q. Why did you believe ? 
A. Because I had testimony. 
Q. Where did you get testimony? 
A. From the Holy Spirit. 



42 FAITH AND REGENERATION, 



Q. Why did the Holy Spirit give you testimony ? 
A. Because Christ died for me. 
Q. Why did Christ die for you ? 
A. Because God loved me. 

Thus, you see, that Faith, before Regeneration, 
brings die same glory to God, that Regeneration, 
before Faith, does. In each case, the glorified saint 
ascribes all to divine agency. But it does more. It 
makes the damnation of the sinuer turn upon his 
own agency. With Faith before Regeneration, I 
begin with a sinner in hell, and run back: — 

Q. Why are you in hell ? 
A. Because I could not be glorified. 
Q. Why could you not be glorified ? 
A. Because I was not sanctified. 
Q. Why were you not sanctified ? 
A. Because I was not regenerated. 
Q. Why were you not regenerated ? 
A, Because I was not adopted. 
Q. Why were you not adopted ? 
A. Because I was not justified. 
Q. Why were you not justified ? 
A. Because I did not believe. 
Q. Why did you not believe ? 

A. Because I would not. Upon my own agency, my 
damnation turned. 

These are some of the reasons why I choose to 
put Faith before Regeneration. And I know of 
no other plan, that will embrace the doctrine 
which seems to be so clearly taught in the Word 
of God, namely, that a sinner's damnation turns 
on his own agency. 



CARDINAL POINTS 



CARDINAL POINTS. 

The best way to decide points more obscure, 
and less important, is, by the more clear and 
important ones. They are, generally, more clear, 
while the less important are obscure. Every 
system has agreement and government. Just so 
with the system of divinity. I find, in the creed 
of all orthodox Christians, the following sentiments, 
which I will set up, at present, as leading, or car- 
dinal points, with which all our other sentiments 
will agree, if they be clear of error. 

1st. There are some of Adam's family saved, 
and those who are saved, are saved by grace, 
and God receives all the glory. 

2nd. There are some sinners damned, and they 
are damned for refusing grace, and the guilt lies at 
their own door. 

Now, whatever may be the sentiments of Chris- 
tians, in other respects, they all agree in these two 
points, whether they be Calvinists or Arminians. 
If I thought I believed one doctrine, which had 
a tendency to destroy either of these points, I 
would renounce it; and would not every Calvinist 
and Arminian do the same? If I know my heart, 
I most firmly believe, that some of Adam's family 
are saved; and those who are saved, are saved by 
grace, and God receives the glory; and that some 



44 CARDINAL POINTS. 

are damned, and that the fault is their own. No 
Calvinist can be more firm in the belief of salva- 
tion by grace, and no Arminian more settled in 
the belief of the guilt lying at the door of the 
sinner that is damned, than I am. 

But, if our system only embrace one of the 
above points, there is error somewhere. Some 
think, if they can only save the sinner by grace, 
they secure all the glory to God; and it is not 
material how others are damned, whether by 
divine agency, or their own. But our system 
ought to operate both ivays, and secure both points. 
If we maintain a sentiment in our system which 
appears to contribute to the glory of God; yet, 
if we hold another, that certainly tarnishes the 
divine glory, we lose more than we make— we 
destroy more glory than we gain. 

I will now present you with two systems, 
which, though they embrace one of the above 
points, severally, yet neither of them embrace both. 

There is one class of divines that hang every- 
thing on sovereign agency: the system is called 
predestination. This system considers everything 
that comes to pass, to have had a previous decree, 
and is effected by divine agency. The doctrine of 
particular and eternal election, limited atonement, 
and partial operations of the Spirit, is also con- 
nected with this system. It is contended, that the 
will of all who are saved, is determined by divine 
influence to choose life, and all the others were 



CARDINAL POINTS. 



45 



either ordained to wrath, or left unprovided for 
Let us now run the line of this system, to see 
whether it will emhrace both those leading points, 
by which we are to be governed. Some are 
saved, and saved by grace, too, and God will 
receive all the glory of their salvation. But let 
us see whether the guilt of those who are damned, 
will lie at their own door. If everything turn on 
divine agency, without the concurrence of man's 
agency ; and those who are saved, are saved by 
divine agency; we gain the first point. But the 
same agent that saves one, damns another; so, the 
other point is lost. Thus, you see, by hanging 
everything on divine agency, man ceases to be the 
cause of his own damnation, and so, the Calvinist 
loses more than he makes; for, if he brings some 
glory to God by the first act, he loses more by the 
second, than he gains by the first; therefore, there 
is error in his system somewhere, 

A second system hangs everything on man's 
agency, and teaches that man, though fallen, is 
capable of finding his way back to heaven, without 
the aid of divine influence. By this scheme, you 
can lay the guilt of the sinner at his own door; 
but this only secures one point — the other is lost. 
Those who are damned, are the cause of their 
own damnation; but those who are saved, are 
saved by their own agency, and God is robbed 
of his glory : so it is evident, there is error in this 
system also. 



46 CARDINAL POINTS. 

Neither of the foregoing systems .will secure 
those cardinal points, which *>we stated in our j 
outset: therefore, those who hang everything, 
either on divine sovereignty, abstract from man's 
agency ; or on man's agency, abstract from divine 
agency; are evidently in error, in some part of 
^ their plan. 

♦ I will now present you with a system, which, I 
think, will secure both the points in question; 
therefore, it must be true. 

The government of God is composed of four 
different parts. In this government, some things 
take place on sovereign principles; others, by the 
influence of established laws; others, by man's 
agency; and others, again, by a concurrence of 
divine and human agencv. The will is not deter- 
mined by divine agency, as the Predestinarian 
supposes; nor by an over-balance of motive, as 
the Necessarian says; nor does man possess a 
depraved self -deter mining power to do good, as 
the Unitarian says: but, by the intervention of the 
Son of God, he is placed under divine influence, 
which counteracts his depravity, untrammels his 
will, and renders him capable of choosing life, as 
well as death; blessing, as well as cursing: and, in I 
this situation, he possesses determining power — 
not a depraved self- determining power — but a I 
determining power of the ability that God giveth. 
And as he is an agent in the government, he has 
ability to perform his part, and is held accountable 



1 



CARDINAL POINTS. 47 

for what he rati do, and ought to do. God 
will do his part in the government, but he will 
not do man's part; — man can, and must, do his 
own. 

But some object to any thing turning on man's 
agency, and to his having ability to do any thing. 
Those, generally, who hang everything on divine 
agency, suspend the knowledge of God on his 
decrees, and say that God knows everything, 
because he has decreed everything; and those 
who hang everything on man's agency, generally 
say that God does not know everything, or, that 
he possesses the capacity of knowing everything, 
yet does not choose to exercise it. But, I would 
remark, that an intelligent being must know ail he 
does, but it is not necessary that he should do all 
lie knows ; God must, and does know, all he does, 
but he does not do all he knows. His knowledge 
is infinite, and comprehends what he will do 
himself, and what every other being will do; yet, 
he is not the author of all he knows. He is, 
therefore, the proper judge of all the earth; for 
known unto him are all things, and the judge of 
dl the earth will do right. 

In order to embrace those leading points under 
consideration, all must have an election to a state 
of trial. Hence, all Adam's family were chosen 
in Christ, from the foundation of the world, that 
they might, through sanctification of the Spirit, 
and belief of the truth, be made holy, and become 



CARDINAL POINTS. 



personally the elect of God, and chosen, or set 
apart to a state of glory. 

Therefore, as all were chosen, in Christ, to a 
state of trial, the atonement was made for ah. 
All, then, have an election, and, founded on that 
election, is an atonement for all. Then, if the 
Father chose all, and the Son atoned for all, in 
order to have perfect unison in the office of the 
united three, all must come into this world under 
the office of the Holy Spirit, and a measure of his 
influence must be given to every man, as well as a 
general influence: he must convince the world, &c. 

We will now run our lines from all these general 
points, to see whether we can secure those cardinal 
points for which we set out, and which we must 
embrace, in order to be correct. If only a part 
have an election, an atonement and divine influ- 
ence, then, only a part can be saved. Although I 
will admit, that those who are saved, are saved by 
grace, and God receives the glory; yet, there is a 
part damned, and why? Because God did not 
design to save them; therefore, they could not be 
saved. Then, we have laid the damnation of those 
who are lost, at the door of divine agency; and so 
we have lost one of our leading points, designed 
to direct us in our system; and so it will be, if we 
hang everything on man's agency. The guilt of 
those who are lost, will lie at their own door; but, 
remember, some are saved, and God is robbed of 
the glory of their salvatiou, for they saved them- 



CARDINAL POINTS. 



49 



selves. But, if we give all an ejection, all an 
atonement,, and all sufficient aid by the Holy 
Spirit, then, any, and every sinner may, and can 
be saved. When a sinner may, and can, lie ought 
to believe; and when lie ought, and does, he has 
only done his duty; and when he has only done 
his duty, he has merited nothing; and if saved 
without his own merit, he is saved by grace; and 
if saved by grace, God receives all the glory; 
therefore, we have gained the first point, namely, 
that there are some saved, and saved by grace, and 
God receives all the glory. 

But let us, in the next place, with this general 
plan, lay the guilt at the door of those who are 
damned. 

All have an election, all have an atonement 
founded thereon; the Spirit convinces all: then, 
all sinners may, and can, be saved ; and if they 
may, and can, they ought; and if they ought, 
and refuse, they ought to be damned ; and if 
they be damned, the guilt will lie at their own 
door, and heaven will be clear. What more 
could the Lord have done for them that he has 
not done? So I have secured both points; my 
system operates both ways; and, of course, it 
must be true. 
5 



60 



ON ELECTION. 



ON ELECTION. 

In the discussion of this subject, I propose, first, 
to consider the term ; secondly, the- application. 

1st. As to the term: it is to be understood in a 
gracious sense, as you may see in Romans xi. 5, 
where it is called an election of grace. An 
election of grace is not to be understood to take, 
or choose one, and leave another ; for there is no 
grace in leaving any one; but choosing one or 
many to obtain salvation, when they might have 
been left on the principles of justice. 

To make a choice, which might not have been 
made, evinces sovereignty; to choose to save those, 
who might have been damned, evinces grace. In 
the case of man, God did choose to do what he 
might not have done, and, therefore, election is 
sovereign. But, he not only chose to do what he 
might not have done, but he chose to save those 
whom he might have damned; and, therefore, it is 
an election of grace, or a gracious election. An 
election that would leave any out, when all were 
exactly in the same situation, would be a sovereign 
partial election ; for there would be no grace in 
those who were left out. Grace would only be 
displayed in saving the unworthy, and not in 
pas&iug by a oart of the unworthy. 



ON ELECTION. 



51 



Man must be considered as fallen, and, conse- 
quently, unworthy, when the decree of electing 
grace took place; and, as in view of the divine 
mind, all things are present, so, in the first instance, 
man is considered as chosen from the foundation 
of the world, or before the world began. See 
2 Tim. i. 9. 

As to the application of the term, it is first used 
in a general sense ; secondly, in a personal sense : 
hut both the general and personal must be under- 
stood in a gracious sense. All were chosen in 
Christ, when they might have been left. 

They were chosen in Christ, who died for their 
offences ; and they were chosen, that they might 
be holy. The election, in the first instance, was 
not to a state of glory, but a state of trial, that 
they might be holy, &c. See the text above 
quoted, with many others. 

The election, in the first instance, gives all 
Adam's family an opportunity of salvation, and 
suspends that salvation on such a condition as 
excludes boasting, and completely saves the sub- 
ject by grace, as you may see in Mark xvi. 15 ; 
Eph. ii. 8 ; Romans iv. 16. 

Some say, that a part of the human family 
was chosen from eternity; others, think a certain 
character (the believer), was elected from eternity: 
bur, as all are guilty and depraved, none could form 
the elect character, without a previous election; 
aad, to leave out a part, leaves that part uuder fate. 



52 ON ELECTION 

All must have had an election, and when any 
believe, it becomes personal. In Christ, all have 
had an election. Predicated on that election, all 
are called by the Holy Spirit, as you may see in 
Prov. i. 23; Turn \e at my reproof; behold, I jj 
will pour out my Spirit unto you," &c. John xvi. 8; 
"And when he is come, he will reprove the world I 
of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." 

There is just one thing more to make it per- 
sonal : "Give diligence to make your calling and 
ejection sure" by welding to the Spirit, who will J 
lead you to Christ, and enable you to re>t upon 
him for salvation; and then you will be ' elect, I 
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, 
through sane tificat ion of the Spirit unto obedience, 
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ;' 
1 Peter i. 2. "But ice are bound to give thanks 
always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the 
Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen j 
you to salvation, through sanctijication of the 
Spirit, and belief of the truth;" 2 Thess. ii. 13. 

Every sinner may be saved by the death of 
Christ; for, by virtue of his death, all have an 
election in him; by the operations of the Holy 
Spirit, every sinner can be saved, because a 
measure of his influence is given to every man. 
But every sinner must believe for himself The 
agency of man was first tested federally, but now, 
personally. When a sinner believes, then all 
the advantages of the first and general election 



P E R S E V E It A N C K OF SA'NTS 53 

become his; and as only a part believe, so only 
a part are elected to a state of glory. 

The first, and general election, was, from eter- 
nity, to a state of trial, that we might be holy; the 
second, and present election, which is personal, is 
to a state of glory. Those wbo are personally 
elected, are justified and sanctified, as you may 
see in the following scriptures: — 

"Know that the Lord hath set apart him that 
is godly for himself;' Psalm iv. 3. "Paul, a 
servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, 
according to the faith of God's elect ;" Titus i. k 
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the 
Father, through sa notification of the Spirit unto 
obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus 
Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied ;" 
2 Peter i. 2. 



ON THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE 
SAINTS. 

Holiness of life, is a consequence of a change 
of heart. This is an essential doctrine of our 
holy religion, about which, we all agree. But 
whether the real Christian will persevere, and be 
eternally saved, is disputed. Some believe that he 
will; while others believe, that he- may fall away, 
lose his religion, and obtain it again, become 



54 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



sanctified, and yet lose it, and obtain it again. 
We believe, however, that a real Christian will 
not lose his religion, and finally fall into hell. But 
to be certain, let us reason together. 

On this subject, one of two propositions must 
be true: either the Gospel secures to the believer 
complete safety, at some given period, or else 
he is eternally in danger of falling; and, if so, 
eternally the subject of fear, and, consequently, 
never the subject of real happiness This idea 
is contrary to the Gospei, which secures to every 
believer complete and everlasting felicity. There- 
fore, the doctrine of apostacy cannot be true, and 
the doctrine of final perseverance must be true. 

But at what period is the believer's happiness 
secured ? Some say, at the hour of death. But 
if the Gospel cannot secure his happiness until 
death, then death is the gbeat thing. It frees 
him from temptation, and makes his Heaven 
secure. But some have been secured some time 
before death. Job knew that he should see his 
Redeemer for himself; and Paul had finished his 
course. And many saints, in our day, have an 
assurance of Heaven, which they could not have, 
if they were in a state of uncertainty. It is true, 
that sometimes they have doubts (and who will 
not doubt, when he has a clear view of his own 
weakness, and, especially, if in addition to this he 
views the Gospel as insufficient to secure him 
until death V) yet, every time they have a spiritual 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. -5f> 



view of the Gospel plan, they can say, 44 1 know 
whom I have believed, and am persuaded thai he 
is able to keep that which I have committed unto 
him, against that day." Hence it appears, that 
salvation is made secure on this side of death; and, 
if so, what period is so scriptural, and reasonable, 
as the moment of conversion, when a sinner fi:st 
believes in Christ, and is sealed wiih the Holy 
Spirit of promise! 

But, it is said, that the doctrine of apostacy is 
the safest, and, therefore, must be true. 

To which, I would reply, that many doctrines 
appear good in theory, which are not so in prac- 
tice; and we ought to prove all doctrines by their 
practical influence. No doctrine can be true, 
whose practical influence is bad. Both doctrines 
have been long believed and preached. You can 
judge, as well as I, of their practical influence. 
The safest doctrine will present the fewest 
instances of falling, backsliding, &c. Are there 
fewer instances of falling, among those who 
preach and believe this doctrine, than among 
others ? I think not. Why then advocate it 
with so much zeal since it does not, nor cannot, 
produce any truly beneficial effects ? I have long 
been of the opinion, that this doctrine was of no 
utility in the Church. But, we shall be asked, 
if there is not, in our country, as well as in 
different other countries, a large and respectable 
denomination, that have flourished under its 



56 PERSEVERANCE OP SAINTS. 

influence? They liave flourished, it is true; hut 
rather under the doctrines of repentance towards 
God, and faith in Jesus Christ, and other essential 
Gospel points connected with them. 

Of what advantage to the pious, is the doctrine 
of apostacy ? The advantage proposed by its 
advocates, is, that they may bring forth more of 
the fruit of evangelical obedience, and so live 
more to the glory of God. But this kind of 
obedience springs from one of two principles: 
either from that of love, or from slavish fear It 
is not possible that any man, acquainted with 
religion and his Bible, will say, that it proceeds 
from fhe latter. And all that is now necessary, 
cn this subject, is to determine whether the above 
doctrine does, or does not, induce a slavish fear. 
The matter is so evident, that it needs no further 
examination. What, but frequent alarms, un- 
necessary fears and doubts, must be the legitimate 
offspring of such a belief! Now, suppose that 
the dread of losing religion, and going to torment, 
should set a Christian to work, would He, 
who knows the heart, recognize such works as 
evangelical ? I think not. Suppose you have 
two sons; one obeys you of choice, and from a 
free good will, and love of jour character and 
government; the other, from a dread of the lash, 
and exclusion from you as an heir of your pro- 
perty; which renders yon filial service, and which 
the service of a slave? And does not this father 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS 



57 



know, that if this servile principle, which actuates 
the latter, should cease to exist, that all the 
ohedience resulting from it, would come to a final 
close? Is this the "much fruit" by which God 
is glorified? Does he want slaves to grace his 
throne? Suppose the wicked knew that the 
Christian was actuated by this principle, would 
it be to them any great recommendation of the 
divine government ? Might they not say, Ye are 
a set of slaves; Ye serve not your God from love: 
'* Perfect love casteth out fear." 

To conclude, then, upon this part of the subject, 
the matter stands thus: Evangelical obedience 
flows from love, and not from slavish fear. The 
doctrine of apostacy inspires this kind of fear; 
and, therefore, this doctrine does not promote 
evangelical obedience, and can be of no utility 
to the Christian. 

If the standing of the Christian is infallibly 
secured, it is through the- abounding goodness of 
God. And is it the nature of a Christian to sin 
against God, because he is goc d to him! If so, 
grace is no more grace; religion is no more 
religion. True, if he served God only from a 
principle of slavish fear, his standing being secured 
in this condition, he would, no doubt, take license 
to unbridle all his sensual appetites. But, if his 
heart is changed from nature to grace, and his 
obedience springs from a love of the divine pre- 
cepts, where is the danger 1 Th% goodness of 



58 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



God, exemplified in any and every shape, ought to 
have the very contrary effect, and certainly will, 
upon every true believer. But, may not the 
doctrine of perseverance, exert a dangerous influ- 
ence upon those who are deceived? I answer, 
No. If they will examine themselves, and for 
themselves, they may come to the truth. But, 
even admitting that it might, would it be as 
dangerous, in this respect, as the doctrine of 
apostacy ? The half-hearted are very apt to 
disgrace their profession, and, in times of trial, to 
fall away entirely. In such cases, the doctrine 
of perseverance, presumes they never had religion ; 
and if these persons should again think of getting 
to heaven, they must seek a religion different from 
what they had before: whereas, apostacy admits 
they had it, but have lost it, and only exhorts 
them to seek the same they had before. I ask 
again, which is the most dangerous sentiment? 
The answer is unavoidable. And whatever effect 
the doctrine of final perseverance may have upon 
the half-hearted, or the hypocrite, I am sure it 
will tend to gratitude, love, humility, in all true 
believers, who are under its influence. I have 
heard, that some have said, "If they knew they 
were certain of heaven, they would dp as they 
please— cheat, defraud," &c. Then, I suppose, 
they do not now do as they please!! A fine 
compliment, indeed, to their sincerity. But for 
the dread of apostatizing, or rather, its conse- 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS 



59 



quences, away might go the service of God, for 
them! But, perhaps, these persons do not speak 
as they feel: nor do I, by any means, design this 
to have a general application. I have no doubt, 
there are thousands among those who oppose the 
doctrine of final perseverance, who would live as 
holv as they do, and perhaps more so, under its 
influence. But, once for all, if this sentiment 
encourage wickedness in Christians, there are a 
great number of positive assertions in the Bible, 
which encourage wickeduess, as they directly, 
and unequivocally, support this sentiment, which 
we shall presently see. 

But, it is said, that man is a free agent, and the 
doctrine of perseverance destroys his free agency, 
and. therefore, cannot be true. 

To this, 1 would reply, that if the doctrine of 
perseverance destroys man's agency in this life, 
the doctrine of being confirmed in a state of 
glory, destroys it also. And, as we have seen, 
if we are never confirmed, we are never free from 
fear, and "fear hath torment." Consequently, we 
are never happy. The idea, therefore, that the 
doctrine of perseverance destroys free agency, is 
unscriptnral, and unreasonable; for the only objec- 
tion that can be made to the confirming of a free 
agent, amounts to this, that it cannot be done 
without trial; but all agree that a free agent can 
be confirmed, consistently with his agency, aftei 
having passed through a state of trial. Is it not 



60 PERSEVERANCE OP SAINTS. 

true, that the whole human family have a state i 
of trial? Now, for what purpose is it? Why, 
that they may be confirmed in a state of holiness 
and happiness for ever. 

Was not the Christian an agent, and was not 1 
his agency consulted, when his standing in Christ ] 
was secured? Had this been done without his I 
consent, or against his will, then, indeed, his J 
agency would have been destroyed. But, if his 
will, and the will of God concurred in this matter, 
wherein is his agency disturbed ? Not at all. 
Does not the individual, who comes to Christ, 
choose him and his service, and the enjoyment 
of God, not only for time, but for eternity? If 
this be true, would he not be disappointed, should 
the Divine Being not secure these things unto 
him ? I grant, indeed, if he chose religion for 
a limited time, or so long as it might suit his 
temporal convenience, or until he might take 
another notion, then, to impose religion, and in 
this condition to confirm him, would be trampling 
upon his agency. But, whoever embraced religion 
under such conditions, either expressed or implied, 
or lodged, unperceived by us, in the deepest and 
darkest folds of corrupt nature ? God is not to be 
deceived; nor would he commit to such hands, 
and such hypocrisy, the pearl of great price. No: 
we must be sincere. We receive Christ under no 
such condition. We choose him and his service 
for time and for eternity; and this is done freely, 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



61 



without any compulsion; and, in this choice, this 
free, voluntary act of the mind, is our agency for 
life, and for an eternity in heaven, confirmed and 
established. Suppose, now, that in the hour of 
conversion, the above choice is in substance made, 
(and none dare deny it), and upon this. God 
secures our standing, and seals us unto the day 
of redemption ; may we not, at any period, look 
back, and say, this is no more than what we freely 
chose in the moment of our deliverance? Nay, 
the saint of God may adopt the same language 
eternally in glory. Thus, I believe, that neither 
the doctrine of perseverance, nor a glorified state, 
is at all inconsistent with free agency; God's 
securing the eternal salvation of the agent con- 
tain ins, substantially, nothing more than what he 
freely chose. 

If the new nature of holiness existed only in 
exercise, the subject might lose it. For, although 
it is impossible, for those who are horn of God, 
to commit the sin unto death, yet, through inad- 
vertence, or strong temptation, they may relax 
their religious efforts, and even, be guilty of 
improprieties. The new nature, however, is a 
fixed priuciple of the heart, producing holy exer- 
cise — one is the cause, the other is the effect. 
And I would here ask, does the cause sustain 
the effect, or the effect the cause? All will agree, 
that the latter is sustained by the former. Then 
it is improper to sa\\ T shall keep tef religion 



62 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



if T remaiu faithful. Holy principles are neithei 
produced nor preserved by practice. They are 
impressed upon the heart by the moral image of 
God, and preserved by the agency of the Spirit, 
through faith in Jesus Christ. I say, they are 
impressed upon the heart by the moral image of 
God, and not by physical power, as some have 
supposed, and that, too, without any moral light. 
When \ou wish to make an impression, you first 
set your type, and then brin£ it in contact with 
the object designed to receive the impression. 
The figure, when made, will correspond with the 
t\pe by which it was made. Although God is j 
a sovereign, he chooses to make a moral impres- j 
sion on the heart of man, by causing his moral 
excellence to shine upon it, through the face of 
Jesus. 

Once more: I would argue, that the doctrine 
of final perseverance, in connection with a salva- 
tion tree for all, is more consistent than any 
other. They both completely accord with every 
Christian's experience. I would ask, was there 
ever a soul converted, that did not view a fulness 
in Christ, for all men I And does not the reflection, 
that a part of the human family is excluded from 
auy possibility of salvation, tend to diminish the 
happiness of the Christian ! I would ask, again, 
when the soul is happy in the Lord, is that 
happiness increased by the thought, that it may 
yet lose its religion, and go to belli I think 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



63 



not Therefore, I conclude, that neither of these 
doctrines is taught in the Bible. If Christians 
were more particular in maintaining doctrines that 
would accord with their own experience, they 
would not be so often driven to the extremes of 
either Calvinism or Armiuianism, and would 
better enjoy their God and brethren. 

It is asked, is not the Christian in a state of 
trial while in this world; I answer, yes; but his 
trial differs very widely from that of a sinner. The 
trial of a sinner is designed to afford him an 
opportunity of applying to Christ for the pardon 
of his sin, and a freedom from condemnation. But 
the Christian has received these things; therefore, 
his trial is not intended to prove whether lie will, 
but whether he has come to Christ; and to prove, 
by his conduct, that there is a reality in religion, 
which religion shines brighter and brighter the 
more it is tried. 

The conclusion seems to be this: When the 
profession is genuine, the trial will be sustained ; 
but, w here there is a deception, it w ill be made 
I manifest. 

The Christian's stay on earth, after conversion, 
is intended to answer several important purposes. 
1. That he may be useful to others; 2. That he 
may enhance his own reward by his work of faith 
and labor of love; 3. That his Christian graces 
may be fairly tested, which, as I before remarked, 
never fail to shine brighter and brighter in pro- 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



portion to the trials through which he is called to 
pass. 

Some object to the doctrine under considera- 
tion, because it is connected, as they thinly with 
eternal and unconditional election. They sup- 
pose there is no intermediate ground between 
Calvinism and Arminianism. This, I have often 
heard expressed, and, sometimes, by those who 
knew but little of the sentiments of either Calvin 
or Arminius. I would, by no means, disparage 
either of these men. They were, no doubt, both 
orthodox in some points, but in others they were 
not. This, I presume, will be admitted by all. 
The Arminians, surely, will not contend, that 
Arminius understood and taught correctly, all that 
is in the Bible. On the other hand, it is equally 
certain that Calvin did not reach the standard 
of perfection in every doctrinal point which he 
inculcated. This would preclude the idea of any 
improvement in theological knowledge, since the i 
days of these two divines, and compel us to 
embrace either one or the other of their systems, I 
without even investigation. I, however, crave the 
liberty of dissenting from either, or both of these ? 
great and, 1 hope, good men, where they have J 
departed from the word of God. While I believe i 
with Calvin in the final perseverance of the saints, b 
I contend that this doctrine is not inseparably > 
connected with eternal election. It is predicated 
cm m appointment which takes place in tino© 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



65 



not on one that has existed from all eternity. 
" Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God," says Paul, 
" whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp- 
tion ;" Eph. iv. 30. When does this sealing take 
place? Hear the same Apostle: * After that ye 
believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of 
promise." Sealing has a variety of applications, 
but, here, we apprehend, it means to confirm. 
After believing, then we are confirmed, "unto the 
day of redemption," and receive an earnest of our 
future inhe.itance. Thus, you see, that the 
perseverance of the saints has no connection 
whatever with eternal election. It might as well 
be contended, that prayer, or any other Christian 
duty, was connected with eternal election ; for the 
perseverance of the saints is nothing more than 
obedience, emanating from holy principles im- 
planted in the heart in conversion. 

Those who hold the doctrine of final apostacy, 
would think it very unfair, were I to charge them 
with believing the absurdities taught by the 
Papists, Socinians, and Pelagians, simply because 
they embrace one of their tenets, viz., falling from 
grace. Is it not equally unfair for Cumberland 
Presbyterians to be charged with holding the 
doctrine of eternal and unconditional election, 
merely because they have published, in their Con- 
fession of Faith, some of the tenets held by Calvin t 

But, it is said, if angels in heaven, and Adam in 
paradise fell, then, why may not Christians fall I 



66 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 

I answer, there is no analogy between the 
standing of Christians and that of angels and J 
Adam. The latter possessed holy natures, and 
yet angels fell without being tempted by any 
agent whatever, and Adam yielded to the first 
temptation. Christians possess neither the holi- 
ness of Angels nor of Adam, yet all will agree J 
that they withstand many temptations. There- 
fore, they stand upon a different foundation to 
that of angels, or of Adam in his primitive state. 
Then, nothing can be inferred from the fall of 
either, in favor of the fall of a believer in Christ. 
He has Christ in him, formed in him, has his 
spirit, his nature, his life. 

But, say some, if the real Christian cannot fall, 
what are we to do with several passages of 
scripture, a number of characters and figures, that 
seem to hold forth the possibility of losing religion ; 
I answer, that, upon examination, I think it will | 
be found, that these afford no arguments in favor 
of the doctrine of falling from grace. I only have 
time, at present, however, to give them a passing 
notice. 

The 18th chapter of Ezekiel, will, first, claim 
my attention. It is thought by many, that it 
contains incontrovertible argument in favor of 
the doctrine against which I am now contending 
That the reader may have a correct under- 
standing of the true meaning of this chapter, it 
will be necessary for him to recollect that the 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS 



67 



Jews, in the days of the prophet Ezekiel, were in 
a very depraved condition — guilty of many 
atrocious crimes, for which he was sent to 
reprove them, and to warn them of their approach- 
ing captivity, and to urge a speedy reformation, as 
the only means of escape. They would, some- 
times, flatter themselves, that, even if the prophet's 
message were true, yet the calamities which he 
threatened, were so far distant, that they would 
be dead and gone, before they would come. 
Their common proverb was, the days are pro- 
longed and every vision faileth. In the chapter 
under consideration, they seemed to have viewed 
their danger as being near at hand, but attached 
all blame to their ancestors, saying, The fathers 
have eaten sour grapes, and have, thereby, set the 
children s teeth on edge ; that is, their fathers 
had sinned, which was about to subject them (the 
children) to a state of bondage to the Chaldeans. 
They even dared to impeach the equity of God, 
saying, His ways are not equal. This led 
Ezekiel to a vindication of the divine character, 
from which is inferred the doctrine of falling from 
grace. 

The prophet supposes two opposite characters 
— one turning from righteousness, (verse 26) the 
other from wickedness, (verse 27.) both of whom 
receive at the divine hand according to their 
actions: one dies, the other lives. Now, it is 
evident, that by this righteous man, the prophet 



68 PERSEVERANCE OP SAINTS. 

intended to represent a former state of the Jews, 
when they were not guilty of the crimes with 
which they then stood charged, and that, by 
departing from that state, they became opposed 
to the calamities which were then hastening to 
overtake them. I ask, ivas that a converted state, 
and had they all fallen from grace? It would be 
difficult to prove this. How many nations, 
besides the Jews, have brought upon themselves 
temporal calamities by departing from right or 
righteous actions, and indulging in certain crimes. 
Are we not now trembling for our own nation, in 
consequence of the crimes of Sabbath breaking 
and intemperance, and is not the warning voice 
of the watchman heard at every point? Yet no 
one attributes this danger to the apostacy of true 
believers. And, whatever difficulty there may be 
in understanding the prophet in the chapter before 
us, it is obvious that he did not mean, by the 
righteous man turning from righteousness, to incul- 
cate the doctrine of a true saint of God losing his 
religion and going to hell. His whole scope and 
design warrant the belief, that he intended the Jews 
to understand a strict analogy between themselves 
and the individual to whom he referred. But it 
is contended, that this righteous man must have 
been converted ; because, it is added, in the next 
verse, when a wicked man turneth away from his 
wickedness, fyc, he shall save his soul alive. 
The propiiet, it will be observed was still 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



69 



defending the equity of God in the impending 
calamities of the Jews. He had just shown them, 
by the similitude of an individual, how the v 
became involved; and now, by the reformation 
of a wicked man, he points out the means of their 
escape. 

And what were those means? I answer, 
not conversion. This, to be sure, was necessary 
in order to escape eternal death ; but, as 1 have 
already intimated, he was, in this place, referring 
to temporal calamities ; and, as the means of 
deliverance, he urges the Jews to depart from 
their idolatry, whoreaom, violence, oppression, Sfc. 
If they would forsake these abominations, he gave 
them to understand, they should not fall into the 
hands of their enemies ; as our preachers now tell 
us, that our independence can only be perpetuated 
by suppressing those national vices, which are 
every where perpetrated. If this view of the 
subject be correct, in order to keep up the 
analogy, we are to understand nothing more, in 
the case of the wicked man, than an external 
reformation. But, says one, it is said he shall save 
his soul alive, Sfc. True, he shall be delivered 
from the captivity, or saved from those temporal 
judgments connected therewith. Life and death, 
in the scripture, according to the prophetic way 
of speaking, often signify external dispensations 
of divine providence. Deut. xxx. 15, 19, 20. 



70 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 

If it be contended, that the prophet referred 
to eternal death, when he signified that the Jews 
had become involved by personal sin, (v. 20.) I 
know not how Paul's divinity and his can be 
reconciled; lor Paul says, by the disobedience 
of one (Adam,) many were made sinners ; Rom. 
v. 19. Here, indeed, the children's teeth are set 
on edge by the sin of the first Father And, 
upon the supposition that Ezekiel referred to 
eternal life in the case of a wicked mans turn- 
ing, Sfc. he would contradict another sentiment 
of the Apostle, which is, by the obedience of 
owe, (Christ,) shall many be made righteous. 

Both in the fall and restoration of man, the 
Apostle embraces, most clearly, the principle of 
representation, which seems not to be embraced 
in the chapter under consideration. It is evident, 
therefore, that the prophet must have included 
in the wicked mans turning, Sfc. something less 
than saving grace, and a right to eternal life. 
Of course, this chapter affords no testimony that 
a true believer may fall from grace, and be 
eternally lost. 

The 15th chapter of John is likewise often 
introduced to prove falling from grace. It con- 
tains a part of what may be called a farewell 
discourse, delivered by Christ to his Apostles, 
just after he had administered to them the me- 
morials of his death, and announced his approach 
ing departure. In this parting address, he hi 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 71 

formed them, that the hour was comings when 
they should be scattered every man to his own, 
and that he would be left alone, (alluding to his 
Crucifixion,) and that they would be tempted 
not only to return to their own friends in 
Jerusalem, but even to shrink from their Apostle- 
ship, and go back to their different occupations. 
In view of this solemn period, he made several 
precautionary suggestions, (verses 2 — 6.) But 
it is evident, from a preceding part of this vale- 
dictory, that our Saviour did not intend, in these 
remarks, to awaken in the minds of his Apostles 
a fear of going to hell ; for he had previously told 
them, that, because he lived they should also 
live. (John xiv. 19.) Nay, more — he assured 
them that such was the stability of the union 
that existed between him and them, that it 
would bear a comparison to that which he 
sustained to his Father, (v. 20.) Then, as 
there is no contradiction in the infallible word 
of Christ, he must not be understood, in the 
cautions to which I have referred, as inculcat- 
ing the doctrine of final apostacy. Let our 
Saviour be his own expositor in this case, 
f* These things have I spoken that my joy might 
remain, and that your joy might be full" (v. 11.) 
That is, I have apprised you of your trials 
before they happen, and of your entire depen- 
dence on me for strength, to enable you to bear 
them; that you may not yield to fear, or be 



72 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 

frustrated when they arrive. Should you shrink 
from your steadfastness, on that occasion, you 
will incur my displeasure, as well as diminish 
your own happiness. Christ did not say, These 
things have I spoken that you might not lose 
your religion and go to hell. 

But we are asked, in almost every sermon 
preached on the doctrine of apostacy, (and, by 
the by, they are not few.) why caution where 
there is no danger? In reply, I would ask, 
why pray for things which would be certaiuly 
received without prayer ? Reader, do not startle 
at this inquiry; that same divine personage 
did this, who delivered the cautions to his 
Apostles, from which the doctrine of falling 
fiom grace is inferred. "Father, glorify me 
with the glory which I had with thee bejore the 
world teas" (John xvii. 5.) Did not Jesus know 
all things ? Yea, the deep things of God\ Then, 
why pray for that which he knew would take 
place! I was once asked by a preacher of 
some celebrity, "Why I frayed 7" If, said he, 
your doctrine be true, you will be certain to 
get to heaven. I cited him to the passage just 
quoted, which evidently confounded him, and 
he begged time for reflection, before he would 
give an answer. Now, the glorification of every 
true believer is made just as certain, by the 
promises of Christ, as his was by the promise of 
the Father, "Whoso eateth my Jlesh and drinketh 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



73 



my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise 
him up at the last day;" John vi. 51. " Ye 
are dead, and your life is hid ivith Christ in 
God. When Christ, ivho is your life, shall appear, 
then shall ye also appear with him in glory T Col. 
iii. 3, 4. "/ will come again and receive you, that 
viherelam, there ye may be also;" John xiv. 3. 
By these promises, a state of glory is made certain 
to every believer; yet it is their duty to pray, and it 
is as consistent for them to do so, as it was 
for Christ. Then, if prayer be consistent with 
a state of assurance, caution is equally so with 
a state of safety. 

To make this subject more plain to the 
reader, I will instance Paul's voyage to Italy, 
in the course of which the ship's company became 
much alarmed by reason of a violent storm. 
At length the Apostle informed them, that not 
one of them should be lost. Acts xxvii. 22, 
23, 24. This prediction was founded on a 
divine determination to deliver them which had 
been revealed to Paul, by an Angel of God, 
But, notwithstanding this decree of heaven, the 
Apostle at one time gave a very serious caution: 
"Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be 
saved; v. 31. 

Now, compare this case with the cautions given 
by Christ to his Apostles, after he had ap- 
pointed them to a state of glory. "And 1 
appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath 
7 



74 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 

appointed unto 7ne, that ye may eat and drink 
at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones 
judging the twelve tribes of Israel;" Luke xxii. 
29, 30. Here is a state of security as une- 
quivocally fixed as an appointment of heaven 
can make it; yet the following cautionary lan- 
guage is addressed to the Apostles, the subjects 
of this appointment: "If a man abide not in me, 
he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and 
men gather them and cast them into the fire, 
8fc. ;" John xv. 6. Now, there is no more 
danger to be inferred from this caution than 
from the one given by Paul to the shipmen. 

Then, if prayer, as we have seen, be con- 
sistent with a state of assurance, and caution 
with an appointment for heaven, nothing can 
be inferred from the cautionary language of 
the Bible in favor of apostacy. 

Another passage relied on, to prove the 
doctrine of apostacy, is found in Heb. x. 26. 
il If we sin wilfully after that ive have received 
a knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no 
more sacrifice for sin" 

Two things are necessary in order to £ J 
correct understanding of the Apostle's meaning 
in this text. First, to know the persons he 
addressed, and secondly, the object of that ad- 
dress. With regard to the first, there can be 
no difficulty. It is evident that he addressed 
the Jews collectively, and it is equally clear 



PERSEVERANCE 



OF SAINTS 



75 



that his object was to convince them of the 
great advantages of the gospel over those of 
the ceremonial law, and to correct the errors 
of those who had embraced the Christian sys- 
tem, but still retained a predilection for the 
Jewish forms and ceremonies. In the passages 
just referred to, he seems to aim not only at 
purging out this old leaven from the true be- 
liever, but to prevent even such as had, from 
the external evidences of the gospel, (perhaps 
inward convictions too,) embraced it as true 
from renouncing it under persecution, and re- 
turning to the religion of the Jews. Every 
body knows, that simply to assent to, or receive 
the truth, does not constitute a true Christian. 
(See the stony-ground hearers, in Matt. xiii. 20.) 
It is also evident the Apostle could not have 
meant that every voluntary neglect of duty or 
commission of sin, (for I know of no sin with- 
out volition,) sealed the damnation of the Christian. 
This would have contradicted the doctrine of 
John, where he says, " If any man sin, we have 
an advocate with the Father ;" 1 John ii. 1. 
But Paul's whole scope and design clearly war- 
rant the belief, that he spoke with reference 
to the particular crime of renouncing the gospel 
dispensation, and returning to the ceremonial 
law. In all such apostacies, damnation would 
be inevitable ; for there was no other sacrifice 
for sin, besides that which the gospel revealed 



76 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS, 

Therefore, it was important for them not to 
cast away their confidence in the truth of the 
gospel, (v. 35.) though they might not as yet 
have experienced its saving benefits. 

The Apostle had the same object in view 
in verses 28, 29. "If he that despised Moses laic, 
died without mercy, (Deut. xvii. 2.) how shall 
he escape who tramples under his feet the Son 
of Gcd, and regards the blood of the covenant 
wherewith he (the Son of God,) was sanctified" 
or consecrated as the Saviour of the world, 
"am unholy thing." The fact that the Apostle 
himself had not attained unto sanctification, 
(Phil, iii 12.) and that he had, in a previous 
part of this epistle, reproved the Jews for their 
low attainments in religion, together with the 
collocation of the words of this passage, proves 
that he had no reference to the sanctification or 
personal holiness of those to whom he wrote. 
Then, as receiving the truth does not neces- 
sarily imply real religion, as sinning wilfully 
after receiving it, refers primarily to the Jews 
returning to their old religion, and as sanctifica- 
tion, in the passage before us, relates to the 
manner in which Christ became the Saviour of 
mankind, I see nothing in this chapter to prove 
that a true believer may lose his religion and 
go to hell. 

But it is said, "If any man draw hack, Sfc" 
v. 38. Does not this prove falling from grace 1 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 77 

I answer, no. There is a wide difference in 
supposing a thing, and in proving the reality of 
the thing supposed. Paul supposed, that if even 
an Angel from heaven should preach any other 
gospel, he ought to "be accursed;' but this does 
not prove that an Angel ever had, or ever 
would preach in any way. True, if a genuine 
Christian should draw back, so as to lose his 
religion, he would inevitably perish ; but this 
supposition does not prove that such an event 
ever has, or ever will take place. But suppose 
I admit that a just man may draw back, still 
there is a great difference between backsliding 
and drawing back " to perdition" This the 
Apostle carefully guards, by saying, " We are not 
of them who draw back unto perdition, but of 
them that believe to the saving of the soul!'' 
v. 39. 

But it is asked, if a Christian may backslide, 
why can he not fall from grace. Let God him- 
self answer this inquiry. "/ will be his father, 
and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, 
I will chasten him with the rod of men, and 
with \ the stripes of the children of men. But my 
mercy shall not depart aivay from him, as 1 took 
it from Saul, whom I put away before thee." 2 
Sam. vii. 14, 15. 

Again, it is asked, where is a man's religion 
when he is backsliding; I would reply, by ask- 
ing, where is a man's reason when he commits 



78 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



an unreasonable act! Is he not still a rational 
being! And surely it will not be contended, that 
a man ceases to be a Christian so soon as he de- 
parts in thought, word, or action, from the re- 
quirements of our holy religion. This would 
involve sinless perfection, to which none, except 
a few fanatics, make pretensions. But, says one, 
what would become of a Christian, were he to 
die in a backsliding; state. Before I answer this 
inquiry, reader, permit me to ask you one or two 
questions. Do you believe you have religion! 
Are you as happy now as you have been 1 If 
you are not, then, you are a backslider. Sin 
has separated between you and your God. Now, 
what would become of you, were you this mo- 
ment to die? God would reclaim you. So, I 
say, concerning every genuine Christian. 

Again, it is thought, that chapter vi. 4, of 
this same epistle, inculcates the doctrine against 
which I am now contending :^ "For it is impos- 
sible for those, who were once enlightened, and 
have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made 
partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the 
good word of God, and the powers of the world 
to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them 
again unto repentance ; seeing they crucify to 
themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him 
to an open shame." 

Now, it is scarcely necessary for me to intro- 
duce an argument, to prove, that the Apostle had 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



79 



no allusion here, to a truly converted man : he 
himself, has determined this matter, (v. 8.) by the 
similitude of the earth bringing forth nothing but 
briers and thorns, after being dressed, receiving 
rain from heaven, &c. I have often been aston- 
ished that persons, with this explanation before 
them, would rely for a moment on these texts 
to prove the doctrine of apostacy ; for the 
earth referred to by the apostle, as a fit emblem 
of the character that he had just described, never 
yielded any fruit; therefore, could not repre- 
sent genuine Christians. They are represented 
by the soil that brings forth good fruit ; Matt, 
xiii. 23. 

But, if the passages under consideration, prove 
the possibility of losing religion, they also prove 
the impossibility of getting it again, (v. 6.) And, 
indeed, upon the supposition of apostacy being 
true, it would seem to me, every way reason- 
able to suppose, that the apostate never could 
be restored; for it is admitted on all hands, 
that sinners, before conversion, by rejecting light 
and abusing privileges, may lose their day of 
grace. But, I ask, can a sinner, under any 
circumstances, reject as much light, and abuse 
as many privileges, as the Christian would do, 
were he to throw away his religion ? Surely 
not. Then, if a Christian were to fall, his 
damnation would be inevitable. Some, to avoid 
this difficulty, have applied the Scriptures in 



80 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



question, only to those who are sanctified "li 
they shall fall away, it would be impossible to 
renew them again unto repentance," Poor en- 
couragement this, indeed, to seek sanctification 
as it is taught by those who hold the doctrine 
of falling from grace! They admit, I presume, 
that regenerated people go to heaven when they 
die, though they never obtained sanctification 
until their dying hour. Then, would it not be 
more safe to possess low attainments in religion, 
than to become sanctified, and still be liable 
to fall — and, what is worse, have no prospect 
of rising again. 

But this application of the Apostle's language, 
seems to me, to be entirely without foundation. 
Indeed, I think, it will appear, upon a minute 
examination, that he was so far from speaking 
of those who were sanctified, that his descrip- 
tion falls very far short of true Christians. 

" They were once enlightened." Are not all 
men enlightened? "They had tasted the heavenly 
gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost," 
that is, they had received of the Holy Ghost, 
power to work miracles, which was called a 
heavenly gift. It is evident, that, in the days 
of the Apostles, such power was, in some in- 
stances, unaccompanied with saving grace. 
" Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, 
have we not prophesied in thy name, and in 
thy name cast out devils, &c. And then wiil I 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 81 



profess unto them, I never knew you;" Matt. vii. 
22. Origen and others afford corroborating res- 
timony, that devils were cast out among the 
Jews, by those who were strangers to true pietv. 
But. should this explanation be rejected, I will 
insist that a sinner may receive a heavenly gift, 
consisting of divine influence, and partake of the 
Holy Ghost, as the Spirit of conviction — as the 
spirit of bondage unto fear — Rom. viii. 15 — and 
vet have no religion. Again, they tasted the good 
word of God ; so did Herod — Mark vi. 20 — 
so did the stony ground hearers : 4< But he that 
received the seed, into stony places, the same is he 
that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth 
it ; yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth 
for a while ; for when tribulation or persecution 
ariseth, because of the word, by and by he is 
offended" Matt. xiii. 20, 21. Here the word is 
received, and of course tasted ; but who would 
say that this character ever obtained religion? 
I pass to the last characteristic. They tasted the 
powers of the world to come. This referred to 
the Christian dispensation, under which many 
have felt powerful impressions, but have stopped 
short of true conversion. The meaning, however, 
will not be altered, if we suppose the Apostle to 
allude to an invisible state. The soul tastes by 
feeling ; and who does not know, that sinners feel 
the reality of heaven and hell, and may make 
some efforts to escape the one, as well as indulge 



82 PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 

pleasing anticipations of the other, and yet remain 
strangers to genuine religion? Acts xxiv. 25; j 
xxvi. 28. Matt. xxv. 1, 12. 

With regard to the characters so often intro- 
duced to prove falling from grace, the limits of my ! 
pamphlet will, at present, restrict me to very few 
remarks, and I will confine them entirely to the 
case of Judas ; in w T hich, it is thought, we have 
incontrovertible evidence of total and final apostacy. 
It will, however, be necessary, before this can be 
admitted, to prove that Judas was ever truly 
converted ; for this has never yet been done to my 
satisfaction. 

The first argument in favor of the piety of 
Judas, is drawn from the following Scripture: ] 
" Mine oicn familiar friend, in whom I trusted, A 
ivhich did eat of my bread, hath lifted his heel j 
against me." Ps. xli. 9. This passage seems to I 
be applied to Judas by our Saviour. John xiii. 18. 
Mine own fa?niliar friend. Surely, says one, Judas | 
could not have been a friend without being a 
Christian. I ask, was he still a Christian after he 
had joined the wicked mob to betray Christ? I 
Well, after he had done this, Jesus called him | 
friend. " And Jesus said unto him, Friend, where- I 
fore art thou come? &c. Matt. xxvi. 50. But it j 
is urged, the Saviour trusted in Judas. Whatever 
may be the meaning of this expression, I think, j 
it cannot be pretended that Christ ever regarded ;| 
him as a loyal subject; for it is expressly said, 1 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



83 



that he knew he would betray him, (John xiii. 11,) 
and that he knew it from the beginning. John 
vi. 64. The truth is, we are to understand nothing 
more in the passage quoted from Psalms, than 
expressions corresponding w T ith the profession of 
Judas — not that Christ ever regarded him as his 
true friend, or trusted in him, according to the 
true meaning of the term. 

The second evidence introduced to prove that 
Judas was a Christian, is, that he wrought miracles. 
To this I would reply, that it has already been 
shown, that a power to work miracles was some- 
thing separate and distinct from real religion. 
Balaam possessed miraculous knowledge ; that is, 
a spirit of prophecy; (Num. xxiv. 2-17,) yet, 
I presume, no body believes he was a good man. 
Now, what is the difference between miraculous 
knowledge and miraculous power? Both come 
from God, and have been possessed by unconverted 
men. Then, a power to work miracles affords 
no evidence that Judas was a true Christian. 

But it is said, Judas was given to Christ. 
True ; but in what sense \ Surely not as a true 
believer. I request the reader to examine the 
history of this case minutely. " Then one of the 
twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the High 
Priests, and said unto them, What will ye give 
me, and I will deliver him unto you? Matt. xxvi. 
14, 15. Observe, this was before the Sacrament. 
If Judas fell from grace, it must have been previous 



84 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



to the administration of this ordinance. Now 
turn to what Christ said after the communion^ 
in his sacerdotal prayer, of those that had been 
given unto him. " Thou givest them me, and they 
have kept thy ivord" John xvii. 6. The reader 
will discover, that Christ, in verses 6, 7, and 8, 
is speaking of the conversion of his Apostles, 
where Judas is not included ; for he had previously 
sold his Lord and renounced his word ; therefore, 
what is said in these verses, could not have been 
true concerning Judas. Hence, he had not been 
given to Christ, in conversion, as had been the 
other Apostles. But in verse 12, Christ alludes 
to his Apostles, as having been given to him in 
another sense, in which Judas is included ; viz., as 
external disciples. 

But, says one, Judas was chosen by Christ. 
Yes, I answer, chosen as a student, but not unto 
eternal life. "I speak not of you all: I know 
ivhom I have chosen." John xiii. 18, In this 
choice, Judas is not included. 

Again, it is said, Judas was sent to preach, and 
the inquiry is frequently made with an air of 
triumph, would Christ send an unconverted man 
to preach the Gospel 1 It is true, Judas was 
suffered to remain with the Apostles, though he 
had not received the word from the lips of Christ, 
as they had done. John xvii. 6-8. Our Saviour 
did not see proper to execute the discipline of the 
Church on him, as God, knowing the hearts of 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS- 



85 



men. While on earth, he chose to act in con- 
formity to his government of the Church in after 
ages. And, doubtless, there have been, and are 
now, but too many Judases in the Church. But, 
is she less under the government of Christ now, 
than she was then. 

But it is still urged, that, if I believe Judas had 
no religion, I am under the necessity of believing, 
also, that Christ calls and sends forth unconverted 
men to preach the Gospel. I would just reply, 
that those who believe Judas had religion, and 
lost it, are involved in a similar difficulty ; viz., that 
it is the will of Christ, that men should retain the 
ministerial office after their apostacy ; for he did 
not depose Judas, but suffered him to remain with 
the Apostles, and even administered the sacrament 
to him, after he had covenanted with the Priests 
to destroy him. 

But, if I had no other proof, that Judas was, 
from the beginning, an irreligious man, the 
following would be sufficient. 11 Have I not 
chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil," 
(John vi. 70,) a fallen spirit. This was before 
Satan entered into Judas to betray Christ. Luke 
xxii. 3. John xiii. 2. He was also called a thief 
prior to this time. John xii. 6. These, I think, 
are bad marks of Christianity. 

The figures which seem to favor the doctrine 
of falling from grace, such as twice dead, to my 
mind, refer to the almost Christian: to those 



86 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS, 



characters, who, after having died in Adam, were 
placed under the quickening influence of the 
Spirit, but rejected the light until it departed ; after 
which they were no more quickened. Perhaps 
there is no metaphor better calculated to represent 
this deplorable situation of the sinner, than a tree, 
not only dead, but plucked up by the roots, from 
which we may learn, that there was no possibility 
of its ever being revived. 

Again : the sow, after she was washed, returned 
to her wallowing in the mite. All that I have 
to say on this subject, is, had her nature been 
changed, and rendered innocent and clean, she, 
no doubt, would have pursued a different course; 
and, had the character designed to be represented 
bv this figure, been changed in heart, he would 
have remained with us. But for the want of a 
new nature, it has happened unto him like the soio 
that was ivashed, 3fc. He tcent out from us, that 
it might be manifest that he was not of us. Had 
he been of us, he no doubt would have continued 
with us. 

I will now conclude, by noticing a few T passages 
of Scripture in favor of final perseverance: some 
have already been brought to view, which it will 
not be necessary here to repeat. 

" Whosoever is born of God doth not commit 
sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot 
sin, because he is born of God." 1 John iii. 9. 
We are not to understand sinless perfection here. 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 87 

This would contradict other parts of the word 
of God. Chapter i. 8-10 The Apostle gives his 
meaning in chapter v. 16, where he speaks of the 
sin unto death, and this is the sin which those 
who are born of God cannot commit; therefore, 
they shall never die. 

" For I am persuaded that neither death, nor 
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor 
things present, nor things to come, nor height, 
nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able 
to separate us from the love of God, which is in 
Christ Jesus our Lord.'' Rom. viii. 38, 39. 

Observe the manner in which this triumphant 
language is introduced. " I am persuaded." By 
whom was Paul persuaded 1 Surely not by the 
Devil, but by the Spirit of God. Then he was 
not deceived when he made this daring challenge 
to the enemies of the true believer. Life is 
desirable, and death is terrible; but neither the 
one nor the other shall be' able to separate us from 
the love of God. " Nor angels, principalities, nor 
powers? Good angels will not, for they are the 
friends of the Christian ; bad angels cannot, for, 
although they are enemies, they are restrained 
enemies. " Nor principalities, nor powers? that is, 
the powers of civil authority. A Nero may rage, 
and others may vent their spite, but all combined 
shall not be able to effect a separation between 
Christ and the Christian. " Nor things present, 
nor things to come? I have often heard attempts 



88 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



made to evade the force of this passage, by saying, 
that nothing but sin could effect a Christian's fall; 
but surely the Apostle includes this in things 
present. Nor heights, nor depths, nor any other 
creature ; that is, neither prosperity nor adversity, 
nor any thing that can be named or thought of. 
If the Apostle did not believe in the impossibility 
of losing religion, when he uttered this language, 
surely words have no meaning. 

" And I will make an everlasting covenant with 
them, that I will not turn away from them to do 
them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, 
that they shall not depart from me." Jer. xxxii. 40. 
It is supposed by some, that this promise only 
extended to Israel according to the flesh; but 
inasmuch as there seem to be spiritual blessings 
couched in it, I think it also belongs to Israelites 
indeed, and that every true Christian may claim 
the benefit of it. In this promise, God pledges 
himself never to leave nor forsake his people. 
Oh, but, says one, that is not what we are in 
danger of. The great danger lies in us forsaking 
God. But the promise under consideration pro- 
vides against this also. I will put my fear in their 
hearts, that they shall not depart from me. God 
knows if his people be left to themselves, they will 
depart from him ; but lie has determined not to 
do this. 

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, 
and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal 



PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS. 



89 



life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any 
pluck them out of my hands. My Father, who 
gave them me, is greater than all, and none is 
able to pluck them out of my Father's hands." 
John x. 21, 28, 29. What language could be 
stronger 1 From it we learn that Christians now 
have eternal life: not temporary life, which would 
be the case, were they to fall from grace. This, 
however, they cannot do ; for he who is greater 
than all, has them in his hand, and none is able 
to pluck them out of Jus hand. 

" Verily, verily. I say unto you, he that heareth 
my word, and believeih on him that sent me, hath 
everlasting life, and shall not come into condem- 
nation, but is passed from death unto life." 
John v. 24. Here the present state of the believer 
is first brought to view. He has endless life 
besun in his soul. It is, then, most clearly shown, 
that this life will never be forfeited, for he shall 
not come into condemnation. 

The above quotations are but a brief specimen 
of what the word of God says concerning the 
security of the saints. It would be needless to 
multiply. 

The reader will plainly discover, that the 
passages we have recited are direct in their 
application, and too positive in their declarations 
to admit of doubt, with regard to their true 
meaning. This, I think, is not the character 
of those introduced to prove final apostacy 
8 



90 FREE MORAL AGENCY. 

Their application is doubtful. Indeed, I never 
saw the first positive text of Scripture to prove 
this doctrine. 



ON FREE MORAL AGENCY. 

A friend requests, that I should say something 
about moral free agency— the true distinction 
between free agency and moral agency. I know 
not that I can say any thing satisfactory on that 
vexed question, which has employed the best 
pens for ages past ; but, if I cannot satisfy others, 
I ought to understand myself, what I mean by free 
moral agency. By a free agent, I understand one 
that acts without restraint or necessity. A moral 
agent, is one that is held responsible for his 
conduct. Man acts freely, without restraint or 
necessity; and is accountable for his actions: 
therefore, man is a free moral agent. We are 
now considering man in a state of trial; in which 
state he has power to act or do' what he will not 
have power to do, when the advantages of probation 
are removed from him. Removed from these 
advantages, he may sin freely, or do what he is 
inclined to do ; but he will sin necessarily, having 
nothing to counteract his depraved nature. He 
can do nothing else but sin ; but he will be a 



FREE MORAL AGENCY. 



91 



moral agent, if he can sin. He has moral ability, 
for sin is an act of a moral agent; and having, 
by the abuse of his blessings, turned them into 
curses, he is responsible for his after conduct. 
But, as we are speaking of a subject in a state 
of probation, for the better understanding of this 
subject, we will remark, that, to understand the 
operations of God on mind, and the operations 
of mind toward God, is all important, in considering 
a free moral agent. That God does operate 
on mind, and that mind must co-operate with 
God, are truths plainly taught in the Bible. 
Theology and philosophy are two grand sciences. 
Theology teaches the nature and operations of 
God, philosophy the nature and operations of 
mind. We will say but little about theology at 
present : our business is principally with mind and 
its operations. And that we may better understand 
its nature and operations, we will consider the 
philosophy applied to mind. 

And, first, very different views have been 
entertained as to the philosophy of mind. All 
agree, where there is a moral action, there must 
be determining power somewhere ; but, where 
that power rests is disputed. All the views which 
have obtained notoriety on this subject, may be 
resolved into four. And, first, the philosophy that 
gives motive the power to determine the mind. 
Secondly, that philosophy that gives inclination 
the determining power over the mind or will 



92 



FREE MORAL AGENCY. 



Thirdly, that philosophy which gives man the 
determining power, without divine agency. And, 
fourthly, that philosophy that gives man the 
determining power by divine agency. The latter 
we think the true philosophy, which alone sustains 
the doctrine of man's moral free agency. But, to 
be better understood, we will review the different 
theories, and mark their results. 

First, motive: if that determines the mind, 
or if motive have the determining power, the 
being that governs the motive, governs the 
mind or choice, and the choice is necessitated ; 
and if the choice be necessitated, free moral 
agency is lost ; the being that controls the motive, 
controls the mind, and is responsible for the 
action. 

But, secondly, the philosophy that gives the 
inclination the determining power. The inclina- 
tion was inherited from another, over whom we 
have no personal control; and the choice is 
necessitated — whether Adam in innocency, or 
man in his fallen state. Adam received his quality 
of nature from God. We have received ours 
from Adam. Now, according to the philosophy, 
that inclination determines the mind, and that 
man can only choose as inclination dictates, how 
could Adam sin ] Adam was holy ; he was 
inclined to good. How, therefore, could Adam, 
according to that philosophy, put forth an evil 
action? He could not choose to sin; and his 



FREE MORAL AGENCY. 93 

inclination could not be impaired by his own act. 
But, as it is a fact, that he did sin, some evil 
agent, over whom he had no control, must have 
defaced the divine image, or erased it from his 
heart, and planted the principle of enmity to God 
therein. Then he had something within himself 
that accorded with the object presented by Satan ; 
and thus he had power to clo wrong, because he 
was inclined to evil. Or else his Maker, for the 
general good, as some suppose, by an act of his 
power, changed the law of his nature; and 
then he could sin, and be the subject of misery; 
and being a subject of misery, mercy could be 
developed ; and thus sin would be for the general 
good ; and as his object was to glorify his mercy, 
the end would sanctify the means. The same 
philosophy that is applicable to man in a state 
of probation, though a sinner, was applicable to 
Adam in innocency. 

Thirdly. The philosophy that gives man 
determining power in his fallen state, without 
divine aid, so that he can choose life as well as 
death, is contrary to the Bible ; and man, in his 
present state, is not deeply depraved : if man, by 
means or instrumentality alone, can correct his 
evils, and restore himself to the favor of God, 
you will find all those who consider man able 
to correct his evils by the use of means, deny 
the divinity of Christ, personality and influence 
of the Holy Ghost. And that philosophy is 



94 



FREE MORAL AGENCY. 



infidelity in disguise, though it may be called by 
the name of Christ. 

Fourthly. That philosophy that gives man 
power to act or determine by divine aid, or the 
agency of the Holy Ghost, and the means he 
uses to aid man rightly to determine, gives man, 
under an economy of mercy, power to use motive : 
he acts in view of motive, but he uses the motive. 
There is a great difference in the two theories. 
According to the first, the motive uses the mind ; 
according to the second, the mind uses the motive. 
Man also has power to use inclination. He can 
determine to accord with his inclination, or go 
contrary to it. We see this daily developed: 
the lazy man has no inclination to labor; yet, 
knowing he will starve if he does not, he will do 
what he is not inclined to do. The sick man is 
not inclined to take medicine; he has no taste 
for it ; yet he will take what he feels an aversion 
to, rather than die. The sinner is inclined to sin; 
he loves sin ; and yet he can turn from it. Did 
not our Saviour teach this doctrine, when he 
said, " Except a man deny himself, take up his 
cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple V 
And did he not always teach this doctrine 1 
Read the Bible throughout ; it is full of proof, that 
man may act in accordance with his inclination, 
or go contrary to it. But where is it said in the 
Bible, that without Christ, we can do all these 
things 1 or what sinner convinced of his own 



FREE MORAL AGENCY. 



95 



sinfulness can do so I We do all these things 
by the ability that God giveth. 

We have said, the same philosophy that governs 
man in his probation, governed Adam in his 
probation. Adam was a free moral agent; he 
was not necessitated to good or evil; though he 
was upright, he might do either; he acted in view 
of motive, but the motive had not the determining 
power; the law of his nature or inclination was 
to good, but he was not determined by his 
inclination, or he would not have sinned. But 
he had power to act consistent with that law, 
or contrary to it. He chose the latter, and by his 
improper choice, he lost his purity. God did not 
destroy it, before he sinned; but he destroyed 
himself. He fell from his original rectitude, by 
his disobedience to a positive command, which 
was designed to test his loyalty; and thus became 
totally depraved, unable to help himself. According 
to the same philosophy, he must be brought back 
in the same way he went off. from God. Here 
we might, for a moment, introduce theology, or 
the nature and operations of God, and see what 
he has done for us, for in him is our help. Now, 
man, as a free moral agent, could ruin himself, 
but could not restore himself. Therefore, if God 
had not graciously and sovereignly exercised bis 
agency, man never could have returned to him. 
There were two impossibilities in his way; he 
was guilty, and could not atone ; he was depraved, 



96 FREE MORAL AGENCY. 

and could not, except an atonement be made for 
him. God, therefore, chose the race of men, in 
Christ Jesus, to a day of probation. 

Christ Jesus made an atonement for man ; the 
Holy Spirit has come to operate on him and in 
him ; to lead, and enable him to believe in Christ; 
and by his influence, and the means instituted 
by him, man is placed on equal ground with his 
foe. The law has been broken ; and he cannot 
restore himself to its righteousness or holy nature, 
But God does not ask him to keep the law, in 
order to be restored to his favor; this is out of the 
question. But the gospel is a positive institution, 
with which he may comply ; and by taking the 
vantage-ground of the gospel, he may be restored 
to the righteousness and holy nature of the law. 
The law cannot bring the sinner up to the gospel ; 
but the gospel can bring a sinner up to the law. 

It is not necessary, that the nature of the law 
be restored to the heart, in order to faith in Christ; 
the law would then bring the sinner up to the 
gospel, and the gospel would be of none effect. 
But, as Adam fell by violating a positive institution 
before he lost his purity, so the sinner, by the 
Holy Spirit's influence, complies with the gospel 
by faith, which is a positive institution, before he 
is regenerated. And, as according to the true 
philosophy of mind, though he acted in view of 
motive, he was not necessitated by it, though he 
was inclined to evil; vet that inclination did not 



FREE MO ft A L 



AGE N C Y 



97 



necessitate his choice ; nor vet did he believe 
without divine aid. He was deeply sensible, 
by his own experience, that he could not save 
himself; yet he could cast his all upon Christ. 
And, as Adam lost his purity, or the divine image, 
by sin, so ihe believer is restored to the divine 
image by faith. By faith he enters into covenant 
with God. Justification, adoption, regeneration, 
sanctification, and glorification, are covenant 
blessings. The plan of the Bible is grace and 
dutv. God calls; the sinner must obey the call. 
God makes known the plan of salvation ; the 
sinner must accept it. Then God justifies, adopts, 
renews, sanctifies, and glorifies. The scheme of 
salvation originates with God. and is carried out 
in mans agency. The system is gracious ; and 
personal accountability is secured. Election, in 
the first instance, was sovereign, gracious, and free; 
choosing all men to a day of mercy. Personal 
election turns on the choice of the sinner. Elect, 
through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief 
of the truth. And thus free moral agency is 
sustained. God receives all the glory of faith; 
and man all the damnation of unbelief. 

I have endeavored, in as brief a manner as 
possible, to present the subject before the mind. 
The reader may wish for explanations; but the 
subject is too copious to admit an explanation 
of everv point, in one short essay. 
9 



98 



PR EDESTINATION 



PREDESTINATION AND FORE- 
KNOWLEDGE, 

OR KNOWLEDGE AND DECREE. 

Some divines consider foreknowledge founded 
on predestination ; others believe predestination is 
founded on foreknowledge : there are others who 
blend the two together, and consider them synony- 
mous. We ask leave to offer a few thoughts on 
the perplexing subject. 

And first, the Bible settles the question whether 
knowledge is founded on decree or decree on 
knowledge. Rom. viii. 29 ; " For whom he did fore- 
know he also did predestinate." So we see, ac- 
cording to Paul, he did not decree and then know, 
but he knew and then decreed. As to whether 
knowledge and decree be the same thing, our 
knowledge of language must determine; know- 
ledge is a perfection of the Divine Being, decree is 
an act Now, if knowledge be essential to the 
being of God, and he could not know unless he 
decreed, then he purposed before he had a being. 
But this is absurd ; therefore we conclude that 
knowledge belongs to his being, and decree to his 
operations ; he must have a being before he can 
act, he must know before he decrees. His know- 
ledge is infinite ; but if it depends on decree, then 
decree makes it infinite — then all the perfection of 



AND FOREKNOWLEDGE. 



99 



knowledge possessed by God is created, and is not 
a part of his being. But some consider that it 
establishes the doctrine of fate for God to know 
every thing. To this sentiment we would respond, 
would it not be idolatry to worship a being below 
infinity, and if the knowledge of God w 7 ere not in- 
finite would it not detract from his excellence and 
render him less the object of our esteem? We 
conclude, that if he did not know every thing, we 
could not confide in him with safety ; we might be 
in trouble and need his aid, which could not be 
afforded, unless he knew it. It is certainly no ob- 
jection in the mind of a good man that God is in- 
finite in knowledge, or that he knows every thing : 
and fate cannot be attached to him on account of 
his infinite knowledge. It is desirable that he 
should know, and a pleasing thought it is, that he 
does know every thing. It is essential to his being 
to know every thing ; but it is not essential to his 
being, nor is it desirable, that he be considered the 
author of every thing that comes to pass ; for sin 
comes to pass, and it is not desirable that the ob- 
ject of our worship be the author of sin. He must 
know all he does, but he must not necessarily do 
all he knows. He knows what we will do as 
well as what he will do himself. 

Our fate or end is no proof that he is the author 
of the evils which involved us in such an end : his 
knowing that a sinner will be turned into hell does 
not detract from his moral excellence. But if it 



100 



PRE PEST! N A T I O N 



were known that he ordained him to hell, without 
the consideration of his choice, and executed his 
decree by his own agency that involved an intelli- 
gent being in the fires of hell, man might object to 
the divine character and refuse to worship him; 
and indeed it would seem impossible to love a be- 
ing under the conviction that He was ihe author 
of all the evils that involved him in misery. But 
not so as relates to tke 'knowledge of God; for 
from the very fact that he knows our down-lying 
and up-rising, and is acquainted with all onr wa\s, 
he ought to he loved the more and trusted in with 
the greatest confidence. We cannot forbid Him 
who is infinite in knowledge, from knowing our 
end as well as our beginning, and all our ways ; 
he is thereby considered the more worthy of the 
good man's love. 

But let us conclude this subject by presenting 
the character of God, as made known in the 
Bible. His know ledge is infinite, his purposes are 
all formed on holiness, according to his infinite 
knowledge; and his knowledge being infinite, com- 
prehends himself and all possibilities — he therefore 
knows himself and every other being. He knows 
what he vvill do himself, and what every other be- 
ing will do; and on his knowledge of what ought 
to be done, knowing what is done, he fixes the des- 
tinies of all according to his infinite knowledge of 
what is right. According to the character of all 
is created intelligences, shall * not the Judge of 



THE HOLY SPIRIT 



101 



all the earth do right i u His knowledge belongs 
to his being, his purposes belong to his operations ; 
foreknowledge belongs to the being of God, pre- 
destination to his operations. Knowledge is a 
perfection of his nature, decree is an act. We are 
authorised to believe, and it is a pleasing thought, 
that God knows every thing; but we are nor au- 
thorised from the Bible to believe that he does 
every thing he knows. Every thing God purpo- 
ses and does, has holiness stamped .upon it ; bat many 
things have not this stamp, therefore they do not 
belong to his operations. But He tells us who is 
the author of all evil ; that the Devil is the father of 
lies, the father of inconsistencies and that man has 
destroved himself; for all have sinned and come 
short of the glory of God. Sin is known of God, 
and is what he hates; would he therefore be the 
author of what he hates I Surely he knows what is 
wrong, but surely he would not purpose to tarnish 
his own glory. 



OX THE PERSONALITY AND OFFICE 
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 

By the term Holy Ghost, is meant a person, 
not an influence, a spiritual person, not a physical. 
His essence and personality belong to the being of 



102 ON THE PERSONALITY AND 

God, and his procession and office to the operations 
of the Godhead. According to the Bible, God is 
one and three : one in essence or perfection, three 
in person. By the unity of God, some understand 
only one person and one God, and exclude person- 
ality as belonging to the Holy Ghost — -that by the 
Holy Spirit, we are to understand the influence 
the one holy person, or God, exerts on the universe, 
and not a distinct person in the Godhead, but a 
personal influence from the one God who is but 
one person. 

We believe in a spiritual influence, put forth 
from one God, who is three as well as one ; and 
that the Holy Ghost, so often mentioned in the 
Bible, is a person, belonging to the being of God, 
and who is a Holy Spirit, and by an agreement or 
covenant of the united three, is the person or agent 
who, by direct or indirect influence, brings every 
thing to pass. 

This distinct personality in the Godhead is evi- 
dent from the Bible. 

1 From the fact that God is often spoken of in 
the Bible, by means of the plural number : " Let 
us make man," &c &c. Gen. i. 26. " The man 
is become as one of us ;" Gen. iii. 22. The 
New Testament reveals how many persons there 
are in the Godhead. There are three, and their 
distinct names are given : Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost; and these three are one. 

2. Personal powers of will and understanding 



OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 103 

are ascribed to him: 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11; also xii. 
11. Eph. iv. 3. 

3. He is an object of worship: Matt. xxviiL 19 : 
also 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The personal pronoun is 
used in proof of his personality, John xiv. 26; xv\ 
26 ; xvi. 13 ; also Eph. i. 13. Personal offices 
are ascribed to him, Rom. viii. 26. A number of 
personal acts are ascribed to him: speaking, teach- 
ing, witnessing, &c. See Mark xiii. 11 ; Acts 
xx. 23 ; Rom. viii. 15, 16 ; 1 Cor. vi. 19 ; Acts 
xv. 28 : also xvi. 6, 7. The Holy Ghost is a per- 
son, equal in power and glory to the Father and 
Son. Names applicable to the most high God are 
ascribed to him : Acts xxviii. 25. Heb. iii. 7, 9. 

Attributes proper to be ascribed to God are as- 
cribed to the Holy Ghost: L Cor. ii. 10, 11; Isa. 
xl. 13, 14. He is emphatically called God ; see 
Acts v. 3, 4. " Thou hast not lied unto men, but 
unto God." Almost innumerable passages of scrip- 
ture prove his personality, and that he. is a divine 
person, possessing power to will and work, and 
worship due him. He is equal in power and glory 
to the Father and Son, and essentially belongs to 
the being of God. 

The united three, in counsel or covenant, in 
view of creating a moral universe, provided to 
meet all the incidents of the universe. The Father 
is considered as the conservative of the Godhead, 
the Son as the medium of communication, and 
the Holy Spirit as the agent by whose operation 



104 ON THE P E 8. S Q N ALITY AND 

every thing designed by God should be brought to 
pass, through the Son, by the direction of the 
Father. His operations, by some, are explained 
as extraordinary and ordinary : the former by ma- 
king men prophets, the latter by his making men 
saints. By others, as direct and indirect : the di- 
rect without means, the indirect by means. And 
some exclude direct influence on the heart alto- 
gether; and by the indirect, they evidently deny 
divine influence, and attribute all the means, with- 
out the Spirit. The means have the power to 
pardon and change the heart by appointment: not 
that there is any divine agency, giving the means 
efficiency, but the means themselves, being appoint- 
ed by God, have the power to open or change the 
heart. Some consider the written truths of the 
Bible as the means, and the ministers of the gospel, 
as the agents to apply the truth, and by means of 
the truth they have power to change the heart ; 
and the Holy Spirit has nothing to do in our sal- 
vation. Indeed according to that theory, there is 
no Holy Ghost; but God, who is but one person as 
well as one God, does all that is done in the world 
in its conversion by the agency of men, presenting 
the truths of the Bible before the minds of the 
people, and by man's agency, not the Holy Spirit, 
sinners are converted to God 

But it is evident from the Bible, as we have 
shown, that there is a Holy Ghost ; and that his 
agency is as necessary in restoring order to the 



OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. 105 

mora] world, which is a moral chaos, as his agency 
was necessary to the proper organization of the 
physical world, when in its chaotic state. And 
the Holy Spirit can operate directly, on spirit, as 
well as indirectly. He that made man, and gave 
him a living soul, can he not have access to that 
soul, without recourse to means which can only 
address the senses of the body ] But if he choose 
means, aud means addressing the soul through the 
body, is not the agency of the Holy Spirit as essen- 
tial in the conversion of a sinner, as though he 
operated directly l The word of God is the great 
means, but the Spirit is the agent which makes 
the truth or the word of God efficacious ; and 
ministers are but instruments in the great work. 
What would a sword do, if no skilful and power- 
ful hand wielded it 1 And who is Paul ? who is 
Apollos ] but ministers. Paul planted, Apollos 
watered ; but God gave the increase. So neither 
is he that planteth, or he that watereth, any thing, 
but God that giveth the increase. If then the 
agency of the Spirit be as necessary, where means 
are employed as where they are not, what has the 
objector to immediate influence of the Holy Ghost 
gained '! . The agency of the Spirit is essentially 
necessary. Then if any deny direct influence on 
the heart of a sinner, the indirect operation is 
necessary, and no sinner will ever be saved with- 
out the agency of the Holy Spirit, however appro- 
priate the means may be. 



]06 ON THE PERSONALITY AND 

The Holy Spirit is the agent which executes the 
divine purposes ; and he is called holy, not hecause 
he is essentially more so than the Father and the 
Son, hut because his work is to make men holy. 
He executes the decrees of God ; and the decrees 
when brought to pass, have the impress of holiness 
on them. We may safely conclude that the Holy 
Spirit never brings to pass any thing unholy; and 
as he executes' the decrees of God, sin is not to be 
found in the decrees. The Holy Spirit produced 
the humanity of Christ, anointed him, and in the 
emblem of a dove, testified that he was the Son 
of God. He raised him from the dead. He de- 
scended on the apostles, and inspired them to 
preach in every man's tongue. He convinces the 
world ; his operations are as extensive as the 
atonement; and the atonement as extensive as the 
Father's electing love which chose all men in Jesus 
Christ, that they might be holy or placed under a 
holy influence, exerted by the Holy Spirit. And 
when the sinner yields to that influence, he is led 
to Christ; and when he receives Christ, he is jus- 
tified, adopted, renewed by the Holy Ghost in the 
spirit of his mind, sealed to the day of redemption, 
comforted and sanctified. Thus the Holy Spirit 
has a great work to do in the world; and without 
his soul-warming and holy influence, our world 
would be as cold religiously, as Greenland's icy 
mountain is naturally. 

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit's personality and 



BIBLE DOCTRINES. 107 

holy agency is a pleasing sentiment; and he is 
promised to be with his servants to the end of the 
world. And by his influence the wilderness and 
solitary places shall blossom as the rose. He not 
only calls sinners to repentance, bat he also calls 
men to preach, and gives energy to their preach- 
ing. His fruits are pleasant fruits: love, joy, peace, 
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek- 
ness, temperance ; against such things there is no 
law. 

Who amongst men would be a Christian? And 
what would a Christian be without those graces of 
the Holy Spirit 1 Let us, my brethren, yield to his 
influence, and never grieve the heavenly dove. 
Let the sinner turn at his reproof; and he will lead 
him to Christ. Remember, sinner, it is a fearful 
thing to sin against the Holy Ghost. 



A SYNOPSIS OF BIBLE DOCTRINES 
IN THEIR ORDER. 

1 All religion supposes the worship of a God. 
The God of the Bible describes himself a Spirit; 
infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, 
wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and 
truth. Three classes of perfections are ascribed 
to him. 1st. Moral, which conveys to us the idea 
of law or rule. 2nd. Perfection, which conveys to 



108 



BIBLE DOCT ft [ N E S. 



us the idea of agency ; wisdom to plan and power 
to execute, constitutes an agent ; an agent must 
have a rule or a law by which to act; holiness is 
the rule of his agency : his willing or decreeing a 
thing does not make it a right, but he wills or de- 
crees because it is right. The 3rd and last class 
of perfections ascribed to God, expresses the de- 
gree (if we may apply the term degree to Deity) 
in which he possesses the rule and power of ac- 
tion. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in 
his rule and power of action. 

2. The immutable perfections of his nature, 
which may be considered the law of his mind, and 
source of motive to his will, viz : holiness, justice, 
goodness, and truth, constitute the great principles 
of law to all intelligent beings. The law is im- 
mutable and universal. These grand principles 
cannot be brought down or modified to suit the 
weakness or wickedness of fallen creatures. The 
offender may be brought up to the standard at the 
pleasure of God, but if brought up at his pleasure, 
his plan must and will sustain every principle of the 
government and develop the law by which he, as a 
sovereign, purposes and acts. Shall not the Judge 
of all the earth do right 1 The Lord our God is 
holy, is essentially so, and declaratively so ; he is 
holy in ail his works and righteous in all his ways. 

3. Man was made upright, created in the image 
of God, natural and moral. By the natural, we 
understand he was an agent; by the moral, the 



B I B L E D O C T R 1 N E S . 



109 



nature of those immutable principles was printed 
in his mind. It was his duty to love God, and he 
was disposed to do it, but he was not confirmed 
in that holy and happy state: his not being created 
confirmed, does not prove that he cannot be con- 
firmed in happiness or misery ; but, according to the 
immutable principles of law, his agency must be 
regarded, which would not have been had he been 
created confirmed. His agency must be tested, 
and, in a duration of time, according to the part he 
acts while on trial, heaven or hell may be his eter- 
nal destiny, and the immutable principles of law 
fully carried out. Man's agency was tested by a 
positive institution, securing all the principles of a 
moral government. Man, the first man, the natu- 
ral and legal head of all his race, eat the forbidden 
fruit, and by one man, this first man, sin entered 
into the world, and death by sin, and so death has 
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. 

4. The Gospel is a positive institution, which 
does not change one principle of the moral law, 
modify or bring it down to the weakness and 
wickedness of man, but provides to bring fallen 
man up to its righteousness and holy nature, 
and may be considered the administration of the 
law in a way of mercy, through a Mediator. The 
gospel is good news, a bundle of good news, con- 
taining the following important articles : First in 
order, election, unconditional, an election of the 
race or whole family of Adam. We said election 



110 



BIBLE DOCTRINES. 



of the race to a state of probation, unthought of 
and unsolicited by him, and without am condition 
required, whether he would accept or reject. He 
was graciously, and sovereignly, and freely chosen 
to this state without any condition on his part. 
The only condition, if it may be so called, was 
the death of Christ, if he died for the sins of the 
first Adam, he and his race shall have a personal 
being under an economy of mercy. What the 
Bible calls personal election turns on sanctificatiou 
of the Spirit and belief of the truth, and that is 
an election to a state of glory. But as I must 
close this article, I will do it without comment on 
the other points of the System. We have seen 
election of the race is first in order: second, the 
atonement: third, the operation of the Holy Spirit : 
fourth, conviction for sin : fifth, repentance : sixth, 
faith in Christ: seventh, justification: eighth, 
adoption : ninth, regeneration ; tenth, sanctifica- 
tion: eleventh, glorification. 

Oh, the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God, how unsearchable his 
judgments and his ways past finding out. Had he 
not chosen and revealed the plan of salvation, the 
world never would have known it. Let us esteem 
that revelation, which not only tells of the past and 
the present, but of things to come. 



SANCTIFICATION 



113 



ON SANCTIFICATION. 

Sanctification is to be understood according to 
the Bible, in a two-fold sense : first, legally. When 
any thing or person is set apart by divine appoint- 
ment to a holy use, as pots, tables, &c, the things 
themselves could have no holiness of nature, but by 
divine appointment were set apart to a sacred use. 
The children of believing parents have a federal 
or legal, but not an inherent holiness; when one 
or both of the parents believe in Christ, the chil- 
dren are called holy. See 1 Cor. vii. 14 ; " For 
the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, 
and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the hus- 
band : else were your children unclean ; but now 
are they holy." Not only the children, but the 
unbelieving husband and .wife are sanctified by 
each other's faith, to some sacred purpose and 
privilege. We are not to understand that the faith 
of the wife regenerated the husband, nor the faith 
of the husband regenerated the wife, or the faith 
of one or both the parents regenerated the children, 
cr gave them an inherent holiness; but brought 
them into a covenant relation with God : securing: 
to the children advantages they could not enjoy 
out of the visible Church. The children of 
unbelieving parents, are not holy or sanctified in 
the same sense believer's children are; they are as 



112 S A N C T I F i C A T 1 O N . 

holy in their nature as the children of believing 
parents, but they are not legally so. Believing 
parents have rights and privileges promised by the 
Great Head of the Church, both for themselves 
and children, while the unbelievers have not. The 
promise to Abraham was, "I will be thy God, and 
the God of thy seed." And again : Paul declares, 
Gal. iii. 9, " They which be of faith are blessed 
with faithful Abraham." We have only to ask, 
how was Abraham blessed ? and the answer is at 
hand: "I will be thy God, and the God of thy 
seed." 

From the above we have seen that persons and 
things that have no native holiness, can have 
holiness by appointment ; and, according to Scrip- 
ture language, can be pronounced sanctified. 

But secondly, We are to understand sanctifica- 
tion as relates to the nature and quality of the 
heart and life; an inherent holiness, by which we 
understand the heart is set apart to the service of 
God : the love of sin is destroyed, and the affec- 
tions of the soul sanctified — consecrated to the 
service of God. This principle, when carried 
out, practically, brings the child of God up to the 
fulness of the stature of Christ, to be a perfect man 
or woman in Christ Jesus. It is our main object 
to notice sanctification in the latter sense. Sancti- 
fication in this sense, commences in regeneration, 
and develops itself in all the departments of life, 
until holiness, like leaven, diffuses itself into every 



S A N C T j FICATION. 



thought, word, and action, until the person knows 
how to possess his vessel unto sanctification and 
honor. Regeneration and sanctification are con- 
sidered as distinct doctrines by some, but the only 
difference is, regeneration begets the principles of 
holiness in the heart, and sanctification brings it to 
full stature. Regeneration implants the principle 
of holiness in the heart ; sanctification, which is 
progressive, is the blade, the ear, the full corn in 
the ear. Various figures have been used to explain 
both. 

One illustrates the subject thus : the Holy 
Spirit, who is the agent, first draws the great out- 
lines of the Divine Image on the heart in regenera- 
tion, and fills up the out-lines in sanctification. 
According to this view, the perfect image is not 
formed until the great out- lines are filled up, and 
the person cannot be properly a Christian until the 
image is completed in sanctification. 

But there is a different view, which we think is 
more scriptural and rational. The Holy Spirit, 
in regeneration, draws the perfect image of God 
upon the heart in miniature, and in sanctification, 
brings it up to manhood. Thus the Bible explains 
' it: the blade, the ear, and full corn in the ear; the 
1 germ was planted in the heart by the Holy Spirit, 
and the grain was a complete grain ; before it sent 
i out its blade, it was not as large as when its blades 
and stalk, and full corn were produced, but it had 
Uie nature of corn as perfectly in the grain as in 
10 



114 



SANCTIF1CATION. 



the full ear. Another figure is used by inspiration, 
the child, the young man, and the old man. Now, 
in a child is there not every constituent part of an 
old man ? has the old man any more members or 
senses than the child? No; but those senses are 
matured, so that he . can better discern good and 
evil ; the perfect man has learned how to use his 
members and senses for practical purposes, but the 
child is as perfectly a human being as the old man, 
but is not as perfect a man. The child has all 
the parts of human nature, and to advanced life 
there are no more members or senses created, but 
those members and senses are enlarged and 
strengthened; so with the spiritual child of God. 
The Holy Spirit, in regeneration, begets all the 
parts of the new man, and sanctification brings 
them up to full stature. When the child dies, it 
dies a human being, with all the members and 
senses of the matured man; when the child of 
God dies, if it be the hour of its birth, it carries 
with it all the spiritual members and senses of the 
old man in Christ: its knowledge and experience 
are not so extensive, but its holiness and love are 
as much the image of God as the old Christian. 
It is the duty of every Christian to grow in grace 
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour* 
Jesus Christ. Every natural child is furnished 
with natural food, that it may grow thereby ; so 
every child of God is furnished with spiritual food, 
and the better the food is suited to the age and 



S A NOTIFICATION. 115 

circumstances of the child, the better it thrives. 
There are two grades of vitality, the one is natural, 
the other is spiritual ; the one is temporal, the 
other is eternal : the child of God may die a 
natural death, but not a spiritual death ; he may 
die a temporal, but not an eternal death. 

We are all, by nature, the children of the wicked 
one ; but man's Creator, in his great compassion, 
has arranged a beautiful plan by which we may 
become his children. He first chose us to obtain 
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died 
for all mankind ; the Holy Spirit convinces all 
men, and, by yielding to the Holy Spirit, in the 
exercise of repentance and faith, we are justified 
and are declared righteous, in view of the law in 
heaven's court, and are sanctified and set apart to 
a state of glory by divine appointment; and by the 
renewing influence of the Spirit our hearts are 
renewed, and we are sanctified inherently. We 
should therefore be careful to develop what we 
feel, feel what we believe, and believe the truth, 
and the truth will make us free; for we are to be 
sanctified through the truth. As God has been at 
infinite pains to make us holy, that we might be 
happy, may it be our concern to glorify God in 
our bodies and spirits, which are his. The more 
holy we live, the better we reflect the divine 
image on the world, and the happier we are our- 
selves. 



ORIGINAL SIN. 



ON ORIGINAL SIN. 

Nothing is more evident than that sin is in the 
world. But how it entered has perplexed theolo- 
gians, in everv age and every part of the world. 
But too many have displayed more concern about 
its introduction, than its destruction. They have 
been curious as to the manner of its entering into 
the world, but not much concerned about having 
it taken away. All agree that it exists; and wis- 
dom dictates that we should be united in one effort 
to have it removed. 

But although we should unite in the removal 
of sin; yet it may not be improper to offer a few 
thoughts on its iutroduction. with due respect to 
the opinions of others, who have so widely differed 
on this perplexing question in theology. 

11 By one man sin entered into the world, and 
death by sin; and so death has passed upon ail 
men, for that all have sinned." Romans r. 12. 

And first.. Adam, by creation, was a natural 
head to all his posterity ; we haviog descended 
from him, have inherited his nature, both mental 
and physical. Secondly, Adam was a le°;al head, 
by covenant or appointment ; and as such, his sin, 
first sin, which was a breach of covenant, was 
imputed to his posterity ; and all the evils under 
which this world groans, both natural and moral. 



ORIGINAL SIN. 



117 



may be traced to this cause ; a curse rests upon 
all the family of Adam, and upon all things made 
for his benefit and placed under his control. Now 
the natural evils that prevail in the world, are the 
fruits of sin, either personal or representative. 
Some only admit of personal sin being the legal 
cause of suffering : while others maintain the 
imputation of representative sin as the cause of 
suffering, we believe that death or privation is a 
legal punishment for sin, whether personal or 
representative. Personal sin involves personal guilt, 
and personal damnation ; and by personal sin, we 
may justly suffer in the present world, as wei! as 
in the world to come. 

By personal sin, we may prolong our lives or 
shorten them ; but by personal action, we cannot 
avoid death. Natural death is the reward of sin, 
but not of personal, but of representative sin — the 
sin of Adam : for in Adam all die. Now the sin * 
of Adam, that brought death upon us all, considers 
death brought upon us, by his sin, as a legal 
punishment See Rom. vi. 23 : c< For the wages 
of sin is death." Again, see Heb. ix. 27: "And 
as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after 
this the judgment." That appointment may be 
found in Gen. ii. 17: "But of the tree of the 
knowledge of good and- evil, thou shalt not eat of 
it : for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt 
surely die." Adam ate the forbidden fruit and 
died ; and we die in him, or on account of that 



118 



ORIGINAL SIN. 



sin, which was a breach of covenant. Adam 
sinned as a legal head ; and by that sin, the whole 
race was to be blotted out, and Adam and Eve 
only to exist as subjects of personal suffering. 
Adam could no longer exist as a natural head, 
because, as a legal head, he had involved death, by 
a breach of covenant. But by the second Adam, 
Jesus Christ, w r ho is not a natural head to the 
race of man, but a legal head, standing the trial of 
the first Adam, and atoning for his sin, securing by 
his representation, our personal being, by continuing 
the first Adam on earth, not as a legal, but a 
natural head. And we are introduced into the 
world personally, inheriting all his properties ot 
nature, natural and moral ; as our natural head, 
depravity and mortality being brought on himself 
and us, by a breach of covenant, as our legal head. 

Thirdly. But although all die in Adam, by the 
i imputation of his first sin ; yet his sin has not des- 
troyed personal accountability. Personal account- 
ability is moral; and no positive institution will 
ever be enjoined by God, that would infract moral 
principle. " The soul that sinneth it shall die.'' 
The son shall not die for the iniquity of the father: 
that is, shall not be charged with personal guilt, 
for the sin of another. 

Adam's sin was imputed to his posterity ; but 
it was a representative sin ; and a representative 
sin is always committed against a positive institu- 
tion ; and no positive institution will be given, that 



ORIGINAL SIN. 119 

will destroy moral principle. Personal account- 
ability is moral. Adam's sin could involve his 
race in a thousand evils ; and by it our world is 
inundated with evil, moral and natural ; yet Adam's 
sin could not involve personal guilt and personal 
damnation. Every man shall die for his own 
iniquity. Now, as Adam's sin, as our legal head, 
has brought upon his race a train of evils, natural, 
moral, and spiritual, but yet has not destroyed 
personal accountability, we may infer — had he not 
broken covenant with God but kept his first 
estate — that he would have continued, both as a 
natural and legal head to his posterity ; and we 
would have inherited his advantages, both natural 
and legal ; we would have entered the world with 
healthy bodies, and upright souls, and under legal 
advantages far superior to his, while he was on 
trial, not liable to temptations as he was. Yet 
these advantages would not have destroyed per- 
sonal accountability. We would have been required 
to acquiesce in that arrangement or covenant, 
bv which he was constituted our legal head and 
representative. 

But since Adam, as our legal head, broke 
covenant with God ; and we are depraved and 
mortal, and our personal existence is by virtue of 
the representation of Jesus Christ, the second 
Adam, who is our head in law ; our acquiescence 
personally is called for, in that covenant. Per- 
gonal responsibility is not destroyed, by the repre- 



120 



ORIGINAL SIN. 



sentation of Christ. Every sinner must believe, or 
accept that remedy for himself. Representative 
advantages do not set aside personal accountability; 
and notwithstanding we have inherited Adam's 
corrupt nature, and are surrounded by temptations 
to sin ; yet. by the provisions of the new and well 
ordered covenant, of which Christ is our legal 
head, we are under no necessity to choose that 
which is sinful. For the gospel, by the Holy- 
Spirit, and the means he has instituted, counteracts 
our depravity, by enlightening our minds in the 
knowledge of divine things ; and thus life, as well 
as death, are set before the mind. And as the 
mind can only feel guilt, when it has made a 
wrong choice; and as the wrong is only discov- 
ered by the right; if the mind did not apprehend 
truth, it could not know falsehood. When, there- 
fore, the mind feels guilty, it is because it has made 
a wrong choice, in view of right. For we can 
only determine the finite, by the Infinite. The 
object or design of the gospel, in setting life before 
the mind, is to direct and enable the sinner to make 
a correct choice. If he choose life, he shall live ; 
but if, under these advantages, although he be a 
sinner, he choose death, he shall die : he will be 
personally guilty, and personally damned. 



RESURRECTION. 



121 



ON THE RESURRECTION. 

The resurrection of the body, belongs to the 
foundation on which the Church is built, and is 
an important part of it. 1 Cor. xv. 16, 17 ; " For 
if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised ; and 
if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are 
yet in your sins." Again, see 20th verse ; u But 
now is Christ risen from the dead, and become 
the first fruits of them that slept." But as the 
doctrine is mysterious, and lies beyond human 
reason, we will offer a few arguments to sustain it; 
for although it be mysterious, it is not absurd, and 
therefore, can be sustained by argument. 

And first: The resurrection of the body, being 
a part of human identity, is desirable. It is so, 
not only as relates to one, but as every man 
belongs to the same race of beings, it is also desi- 
rable, as relates to the great whole ; every human 
being is tenacious of his person — body as well as 
soul ; and as the body must die, there is great 
solicitude felt that it should rise again, and rise in 
a better state than it now enjoys. The individual 
not only desires his body, to be united with the 
soul for ever, but he has many friends he desires to 
meet in full person — body as well as soul — and 
whose personal presence as well as personal 
1 1 



122 RESURRECTION. 

friendship, will afford pleasure. We conclude, 
the resurrection is desirable, being founded in the 
constitution of man, which affords an argument in 
its favor. 

Secondly : It is possible. When we view the 
infinite wisdom, almighty power, &c, of the 
Creator of man, shall we think it incredible, that 
God should raise the dead ? He who gave him 
being at first, can he not as easily raise the body 
from the dust, as he could form it out of the dust. 

Thirdly : It is probable that a God who has 
given man being under such favorable circum- 
stances, will raise him from the dead. From all 
we know of ourselves, as the workmanship of God, 
and from what we know of him, is it not probable 
that God will raise the dead. 

Fourthly : It is certain there shall be a resurrec- 
tion, both of the just and unjust. The Bible 
places the doctrine beyond controversy ; text after 
text might be quoted in its favor; but we will not 
insert them at this time ; let the doubtful mind read 
the Bible. 

Fifthly : The doctrine is a provision of the 
Gospel. It is in the Gospel that life and immor- 
tality are brought to light: our resurrection is 
founded on the resurrection of Jesus Christ ; and 
His resurrection is founded on his death ; and his 
death on his voluntary consent to take our place, 
in law. There shall be a resurrection, both of 
the just and unjust; the whole human family will 



RESURRECTION. 123 

rise, small and great. Then Christ rose for all ; 
and if He rose for all, He must have died for 
all; and if He died for all, He must have 
consented to do so; and if he consented to do 
so, it must have been because the law required 
it; and if the law required it, God the Father, 
who is the conservator of the God-head, must 
have given him up to take the sinner's place 
in law : and in Him chose the human family to 
obtain salvation ; and He, Jesus Christ, is the 
Saviour of all men ; especially of those that believe. 
And as he consented to die for all men, and rose 
again from the dead for all men, so He was 
appointed the Judge of quick and dead, and we 
must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, 
to answer for the improvement of all the advan- 
tages secured us by His intervention. He has 
secured advantages for all men, and therefore, all 
men must stand before the Judgment seat of Christ. 

Sixthly : The manner of the resurrection. 
Whether the same body will arise, or a body at 
all — only something aerial — has been controverted. 
This matter can only be settled by the Bible. 

And first: Christ rose with the very same body 
He died with ; and the body that died, was the 
same that was born of the Virgin Mary. 

Second : He shall change our vile bodies, that 
they maybe fashioned like unto His glorious body. 
His body became more glorious, when His work 
of humiliation was completed; but it was the 



124 RESURRECTION. 

same body. His transfiguration was designed and 
calculated to show the disciples the glory of an im- 
mortal body, and was the most striking development 
of immortality ever beheld; and our bodies shall be 
like the glorious body of Christ; yet the same 
body. Every man, therefore, in the resurrection, 
shall have his own body: the saint will not inherit 
the body of the sinner. 

Spiritual bodies, freed from the power of all the 
laws of organic matter. They will not hunger, 
nor thirst, nor be weary. They will have no ten- 
dency to the centre of matter, by the laws of gravi- 
tation, as the present body has. But this mortal 
shall put on immortality : the same body that was 
mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be 
swallowed up in victory. We are not to expect 
all the particles that belong to this body, when it 
dies ; or belonged to it in ail its mutations, in its 
short history of mortality. This is not desirable, 
but the resurrection of the body is desirable, and 
this is sustained. 

Seventhly : The character of the resurrection. 
Morally, the resurrection of the body, is founded 
on the resurrection of Christ : but the character of 
the resurrection, will turn on personal responsi- 
bility. They that have done good, shall come 
forth to the resurrection of life, a capability of 
higher enjoyments; and they that have done evil, 
to the resurrection of damnation, a capability of 
deeper misery. We cannot, by personal effort, 



BAPTISM. 125 

escape the resurrection. We must rise;, whether 
we are good or had; but we can escape, by 
personal effort, a resurrection of damnation, and 
may come forth to the resurrection of life. 



ON BAPTISM. 

Without any preliminary remarks, we explain 
Bapttsm to mean the application of one thing to 
another, with a view to cleanse, purify, or set apart 
to some particular use ; and it expresses the thing 
done, and not the mode of doing it. Whether the 
thing applied be water, blood, fire, or spirit, to either 
body or mind, the application of one thing to 
another is done to cleanse, purify, or set apart to 
some particular purpose or use; and this is baptism. 
With this explanation, let us notice all the texts, or 
most of them, which speak of baptism. 

And first, the baptism of the children of Israel 
to Moses in the cloud and in the sea; see 1 Cor. 
x. 2. The miracles wrought at the Red Sea, called 
baptism, were designed to set apart the children of 
Israel to obey Moses as their leaden 

2nd. Jesus Christ was baptized by John : See 
the connection, as recorded by the Evangelists. 
God gave to Moses a shadow of Christ's priesthood, 
which was to be confined to the family of Aaron 



t 



126 



BAPTISM. 



and tribe of Levi. John was of the above family 
and tribe, and was specially appointed to prepare 
the way of the Lord. In the discharge of his duty, 
he made a transfer of the Levitical priesthood, of 
which he was one, to Jesus Christ, who, according 
to the flesh, was of the tribe of Judah, and thus 
the shadow was transferred to the substance. And 
the baptism John administered to Christ, was not 
designed to perpetuate the Levitical priesthood, but 
to put an end to it, by transferring the Levitical 
priesthood to Christ, and thus to set him apart to 
close the whole sacrificial dispensation, by the 
offering of himself once for sin. He acted as the 
priest ; He offered himself ; and, from the time of 
his offering, the shadow fled away; and God has 
not required any of Aaron's family, or Levi's tribe, 
to offer the blood of any victim for sin. The 
shadow has fled ; Aaron lays aside his robe ; and 
the Jewish altar ceases to smoke with the blood of 
slain beasts for sin. By one offering, and that 
himself, and by himself, he "finished transgression, 
and to make an end of sins." Four thousand 
years of darkness had covered the world. Types 
and shadows had pointed to the great anti-type 
and substance. Men had officiated as priests. 
But when the Truth or substance of all the types 
makes his appearance, who is a priest for ever, 
after the order of Melchizedec, and not after the 
order of Aaron; Aaron transfers all his authority 
to Christ in the act of baptism. 



BAPTISM. 



127 



3rd. Christ was baptized with blood or suffering. 
"I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how 
am I straitened till it be accomplished?" This 
baptism set him apart to make intercession for us: 
He entered the holy place, that is, heaven, by his 
own blood. 

4th. John's baptism with water was designed, in 
addition to his transferring the Levitical priesthood 
to Christ, which was but the shadow of his 
priesthood, who is a priest for ever after the order 
of Melchizedec, to set apart the Jewish nation to 
receive the gospel. He therefore baptized them 
to repentance, saying, that they should believe on 
him that should come after him, that is, on Christ 
Jesus. 

5th. He [Christ] shall baptize with the Holy 
Ghost and with fire. The Apostles were set apart, 
who were unlearned men, by the baptism of the 
Holy Ghost, to preach the gospel in every man's 
tongue. 

6th. The Christian baptism, the application of 
water by an authorized minister to a fit subject, in 
the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost 
This baptism, which is but an outward sign of au 
inward grace or baptism, sets the subject apart to 
membership in the visible Church. 

7th. Spiritual baptism, which sets au individual 
apart to membership in the invisible Church. This 
baptism means to cleanse, purify, or set apart to 
some particular use. We think it unsafe to make 



128 



BAPTISM* 



baptism mean immersion or any mode of doing the 
thing. John baptized with water. There must 
be some mode of doing every thing, and often 
many modes ; but there is a striking difference 
between the thing done and the mode of doing it. 
John baptized with water, not in water. Christ 
baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, not in the 
Holy Ghost and fire. The children of Israel were 
baptized and not immersed. The Egyptians were 
immersed and not baptized. Christ should baptize 
with the Holy Ghost and fire — not fire literally — 
but, as fire is a purifying element when applied to 
matter, so a holy influence applied to the soul 
cleanses, purifies, and sets it apart to membership in 
the invisible Church. To be baptized with the 
Holy Ghost and fire, and to be born of the water 
and Spirit, seem to mean the same thing: fire has 
a purifying influence, so has water ; and both fire 
and water represent the purifying influence of the 
Holy Ghost. The Spirit or Holy Ghost applies a 
purifying, a holy influence to the heart. The text 
does not surely mean a literal application of either 
fire or water to the body with a view to cleanse 
the soul, but a spiritual application of a holy 
influence by the Holy Ghost to cleanse, purify, and 
set the soul apart to the service of God. We 
would not pretend to say the mode constitutes 
the thing, or that the mode of doing and the 
thing done are the same. The thing done is 
baptism;- the mode of doing it is something else. 



BAPTISM. 



129 



But as baptism must; be done in some mode, and 
as water baptism is only the sign of the Spirit's 
baptism, we can safely say, the baptism of the 
Spirit is administered by pouring. 

See Acts i. 5 — "For John truly baptized with 
water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy 
Ghost, not many days hence." In explanation of 
the baptism of the Holy Ghost, see Acts ii. 17, 18: 
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith 
God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, &c. 
And on my servants and on my hand-maidens I 
will pour out, in those days, of my Spirit," &c. 
The latter, therefore, explains the mode of baptism 
by the Holy Ghost, mentioned in the foregoing. 
Baptism, as we have explained, means the thing 
done, and not the mode of doing it. Yet as some 
mode is necessary in doing all things, some mode 
must be observed in administering baptism. And 
as the Bible has not expressly revealed the mode, 
we are left to infer that pouring is a proper mode 
of application; for it cannot be wrong to apply 
water to the body in Christian baptism, in the same 
mode the soul is baptized by the Holy Ghost. 



130 



THE SABBATH. 



THE SABBATH. 

I find it written, " Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, 
knd reverence my sanctuary : 1 am the Lord." 
Lev. xix. 30. 

The Sabbath and Sanctuary are standing 
monuments of important facts, recorded in the 
book of God, and they are also valuable emblems 
of things to come ; and, as such, ought to be 
sacredly regarded by man. The Sabbath is a 
memorial of the creation of the world, and the 
resurrection of Christ ; and those who would blot 
out the Sabbath, would erase the finger of God 
from creation, and say with the fool, There is no 
God. The Sabbath ought not only to be kept as 
one of seven days, but should be kept holy to the 
Lord. We are commanded to labor six days for 
the benefit of our bodies ; and the day called the 
Sabbath, for the benefit of souls, by devoting it 
exclusively to the service- of God, for his glory and 
our good, our spiritual edification and comfort. 
God has appointed a weekly Sabbath, and, under 
the Jewish economy, he appointed other days, 
called Sabbaths, to commemorate important events. 
Whatever God has appointed must be sacredly 
regarded by us — " Thou shalt keep my Sabbaths." 
While the Sabbath enjoins certain duties, it also 
forbids every thought, word, and action, being 



THE SABBATH. 



131 



performed on the Lord's day, which would divert 
our minds from the service of God. We all agree 
that it forbids all kinds of manual labor, except 
works of necessity and mercy. But how many 
of us, have learned to promote our worldly interest 
on the Lord's day, by other arrangements than 
manual labor. Wordly interest is promoted, and 
the miod called off from the service of God by- 
bargain making, on the Sabbath ; a journey is to be 
taken ; Sabbath is the day, or one of the days 
visits must be paid; friends must be seen; Sabbath 
is the day the social party is formed; all the 
subjects of conversation are demoralizing, and 
calculated to banish thoughts of God, and to inflate 
the soul with pride and vanity : and thus the 
object of the Sabbath is lost. We have some- 
times known the house of God to be almost 
forsaken; the family must stay at home to enter- 
tain company, when all ought to have been at 
Church, the family and company. We have 
generally found the poor more careful to keep the 
Sabbath than the rich; yet sometimes the poor 
plead their poverty for breaking the Sabbath — we 
have to work hard all the week, and have no other 
time for pleasure or friendly visits, but Sunday ; 
and we must go. Would it not be a kind act for 
the men of this world, when they find the member 
of the Church desecrating the Sabbath, to 
admonish them not to break the Sabbath, that they 
ought to be at home instructing their families, or 



132 



THE SABBATH. 



at the Church in Sabbath School, prayer meeting, 
or at preaching, endeavoring to build up Zion, by 
provoking their fellow- citizens to love and good 
works. We should keep the Sabbath holy, not 
only because it is monumental, but also because 
it is emblematic of our eternal rest in the kingdom 
of God — " there remaineth therefore a rest to the 
people of God," and they that keep the Sabbath, 
keep that rest in view ; and they who keep the 
Lord's Sabbath on earth, will keep the eternal 
Sabbath. But those who want no Sabbath in 
this world, will have none in the next ; they will 
be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 

But 2ndly : We must reverence the Sanctuary, 
The Sanctuary is a holy or sanctified place, as 1st. 
the Holy of Holies, where the Ark and its appur- 
tenances, and the cloud representing the divine 
glory, stood; Lev. iv. 6. The whole Jewish 
Temple is called the Sanctuary. Any place 
appointed for the public worship of God is^the 
Sanctuary, the place where God dwells, and under 
the gospel dispensation, wherever his people meet to 
worship, there is a house for God. Our houses of 
public worship, built and dedicated to him, are his 
Sanctuary ; it is God's house, He is the proprietor, 
and is represented as dwelling in it; and those 
who go to the Sanctuary, go there to worship God. 
We should be respectful, in our outward deport- 
ment, in the house of God ; if it be the duty of the 
young to bow before the hoary head and honor 



THE SABBATH 



133 



the old man, we should all bow before God, on 
approaching his house, and honor him by taking 
off our hats at the door of his house, and enter 
into his presence with deep humility. When 
services are opened, we should take an active part 
in them, and not sit there like statues, or by 
whispering, talking and laughing, tell God we 
have no reverence for his name, and tell (by the 
fool's eye) the whole congregation, that we do 
not know how to behave ourselves in the house 
of God. We think it indecorous to come into 
the house of God with hats on, and as soon as 
service is over, and sometimes before the benedic- 
tion is pronounced, pick up hats, and sometimes 
we have seen, to our mortification, cigars lighting 
up, hats putting on, loud talk and perhaps loud 
laughter, all in the house of God; and perhaps 
too, after a solemn sermon, where probably serious 
mourners have knelt at the altar of prayer. 

Preachers and people should be careful how 
they enter the house of God ; the whole service 
should be orderly and solemn, and the same care 
should be taken when we close it. We should 
close the service respectfully, and not destroy all 
the good that might have been done during the 
sermon, by irreverence at the close. Nothing 
tells to more advantage, on the intelligence and 
piety of a people, than their behavior in the house 
of God. The old saying is true — the state of the 
people is known by the state of the temple. An 



134 



ON MISSIONS. 



indifferent house, indifferently kept for the worship 
of God, more strikingly discovers a want of interest 
as well as good taste: and although we would be 
far from extravagance, as to the house and its 
furniture, yet all houses of worship ought to be 
decently kept, and gravity should mark the house 
in all its departments. The people should strive 
above all things, in this world, to be decorous in 
the house of God. 

But there may be an orderly congregation, in 
view of men, and yet the heart may not be right 
in the sight of God ; and all the service in His 
sight may be disorderly, for the want of the true 
spirit of religion. God is a Spirit ; let this always 
be borne in mind by the worshipper; and they 
that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and 
in truth : in spirit, in opposition to form ; in truth, 
in opposition to error. 



ON MISSIONS. 

Our Church is not doing all she could to promote 
the cause of Christ, in our great missionary-field, 
the Valley of the Mississippi, and in the whole 
world, which is a missionary-field, and now white 
to harvest. Some are doing but little for want of 
system, as they say, in our Church. Now I do not 
say we have the best system; T believe it can toe 



ON MISSIONS. 135 

greatly improved ; bat if it be improved, it must be 
done practically. We must operate on the capital 
we have, or it will not increase ; we must reduce 
to practice, or it will not likely be bettered. The 
best address ever delivered on charity, is a practical 
address. " Be ye warmed and filled," will not 
warm and fill. 

Our system will do, until, by practice, we learn 
better. Our Constitution authorises the pastoral 
relation and missionary plan. The plan is laid 
down, by which the pastoral relation is formed. 
A Church that wants a pastor, and a minister who 
wants a settlement, as pastor, have a plain system 
of operation before them. Let the minister devote 
his time to pastoral duties. Let the Church sustain 
him by prayer, and by all other means that may be 
necessary ; and the Lord will give the increase. 
But although the system of operation is plain and 
good; yet, if the preacher and the people neglect 
duty, the Church cannot be sustained. If a pastor 
wants to serve the people, he can do it ; and if the 
people wish to give to the preacher, if they will 
give, nothing shall be lost for want of form. 

Our Assembly is a Missionary Society; it has its 
Missionary Board ; there are and will be regular 
channels to that Board; and that Board, so soon 
as it has funds for either Foreign or Domestic 
missions, will endeavor, so far as it has men and 
means, to sustain or amply occupy every important 
station. 



136 



ON MISSIONS. 



Synods are all Missionary Societies; let them be 
auxiliary to the parent Society. Presbyteries are 
also Missionary Societies ; let the Presbyteries 
provide for their part of the great field, and aid 
the Parent Society. Congregations are Missionary 
Societies, let them see that their own congregation 
is supplied with all the means of salvation, and 
also aid the destitute. 

Every individual member of the Church should 
feel bound to aid the whole ; in so doing he sustains 
himself as well as others. Now, my brethren, let 
us improve our system practically; let us go to 
work with the system and means we have. A 
minister was once called on to preach to a benevo- 
lent institution a sermon ; his last proposition was 
to deliver a practical argument on charity. When 
he came to that division of his subject, he put his 
hand in his pocket and pulled out the money, 
saying the poor had been starved by speculative 
benevolence ; he proposed to treat it practically : 
" Give me your money, and I shall say no 
more." 

The policy that is wanting in our Church, and 
in every Church, is practical policy. We want 
missionaries in all parts of our country. In Cities 
and Towns, where we have no Churches nor 
preachers, our Board of domestic missions, as well 
as foreign, is ready to receive all money that may 
be sent, and make as wise an appropriation of it as 
possible. Let individuals Societies, Presbyteries, 




and all others direct their money to the Treasurer 
of the Assembly's Board of Domestic and Foreign 
Missions of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
at Lebanon, Wilson county, Tenn. The contribu- 
tions of concert prayer-meetings will be received 
and appropriated. Will we not resolve that, in 
addition to our own Churches, Presbyteries, &c, 
we will every year send something to aid the 
Board, in sending to the destitute, and where our 
Church is not planted. 

The way is open, and where there is a will 
there is a way. Solomon remarks, that through 
much weariness, the building deeayeth ; and through 
idleness of the hands, the house droppeth through. 
A lazy man is almost always out of work, as well 
as of means : an industrious man can always find 
something: to do. 

My brethren, if we are really disposed to 
work, there is work enough to be done. Let us 
go to work practically ; and if we have but two 
mites, it will be much in God's esteem. But let us 
remember, it is practical work that is wanted to be 
done. We may think of doing good, and do 
nothing. May the Lord rouse us all up to suitable 
action, for the time is at hand, when the Judge 
of all the earth will say, " Come, ye blessed 
of my Father ; for I was an hungered, and ye 
gave me meat,'' &c. ; not that you thought ye 
would, foot that ye did feed me. He that wishes 
to aid the cause of missions, can find a wav to do 



138 



ON MISSIONS. 



it. There is money enough in our Church to 
sustain a missionary in every important place in 
our bounds, and aid the foreign field, besides 
sustaining the pastoral relation in many congrega- 
tions, if our brethren would encourage practical 
policy. By sustaining pastors at home and mis- 
sionaries abroad, the work of God would prosper 
better amongst us, and our ministers, who could 
be tempted by money, to leave our Church, would 
be guarded against such temptations. But who 
amongst us, who have been born again in our 
church, could be tempted to sell their birth-right 
for a mess of red pottage, or their Master for 
thirty pieces of s'lver ? 

Other denominations may solicit funds from our 
Church to assist their treasury, and with that money 
attempt to buy up the ministers of our Church, and 
send them out into their own field. But let us not 
find fault with others, but endeavor, as Rev. John 
Wesley once said to his brethren, let us out-preach, 
out-pray, and out-live all others. And let us excel 
all others in bringing all the resources and energies 
of our Church to sustain the cause of Christ. 



MORE MINISTERS WANTED- 139 



THE CHURCH WANTS MORE 
MINISTERS 

OF THE RIGHT STAMP. 

An uncalled, unsent, unholy, and unfaithful 
ministry, is the Church's greatest curse. A ministry 
called and sent of God, holy and faithful, is the 
Church's greatest blessing. The middle of the 
19th century needs not only more preachers, but 
preachers . qualified for the peculiar labor of this 
age — men apt to teach, patient, who will not hold 
their peace day nor night; wise to win souls, who 
know how to behave themselves in the house of 
God — men who know how rightly to divide the 
word of truth, giving to each their portion in due 
season, prudent, faithful, humble, holy, zealous, 
watchful — men who will hazard their lives, 
fortunes, and every thing in this world, for Christ's 
sake and the salvation of souls — men who w ill 
seek to please God rather than men, and who will 
seek to please other men rather than themselves, 
who will preach Jesus, the Lord, and not them- 
selves — men whose hearts feel, whose eyes weep, 
and whose heads are fountains of water — men who 
are devoted to the cause of God, and not afraid 
to lift up their voices like a trumpet, and show the 



140 



MORE MINISTER 3 W A IS T E D 



house of Israel their sins — men who wiil warn 
sinners to flee the wrath to come, while it is vet ro 
come, who will take mouthfuls of the threatened 
wTath of God, and ponr it upon the wicked, who 
shall he turned into hell — men who will be instant 
in season and out of season, who will exhort and 
rebuke with all long-suffering and doctrine, who 
will teach publicly, and from house to house — 
men who know how to comfort the feeble-minded, 
to support the weak, and to be patient toward all 
men — men who will exemplify what they preach, 
preach what they feel, feel what they believe, and 
believe the truth — men born of God. called of 
God, filled with the Holy Ghost, and clothed with 
salvation. Then the saints will shout aloud for 
jov. Men. wise as serpents and harmless as doves 
— men who can endure with the ox. soar with the 
eagle, roar with the lion, reason with the mao. and 
love with the angel — men who weep between the 
porch and the altar, and who will stand between 
the living and the dead — men who will endure 
hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, esteeming 
rhe reproaches of Christ greater riches than all the 
treasures of Egypt — men who esteem Jerusalem 
above their chief joy. and who will only glory in 
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Men of the 
above character will show sinners the wav nf life : 
they will take Zion by the hand : they will feed 
the flock of God, taking the oversight thereof, not 
by constraint, but wiliindv. not lor tilth v lucre hut 



OF THE RIGHT STAMP. 141 

of a ready mind. And when the chief Shepherd 
shall appear, they shall receive a crown of glory 
that fadeth not away, and will present a holy flock 
before the Son of Man, at his appearing. They 
that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament ; and they that turn many to righteous- 
ness as the stars, for ever and ever. 

May the great Head of the Church raise up 
men, eminently qualified to meet the wants of the 
Church and the world, the next half century. 
Men who will bless the next generation, must 
enter the sacred office with thoughts that breathe, 
and words that burn with living fire. 

The fields are large and white to harvest, and 
the Macedonian cry is heard from almost every 
quarter, "Come over and help us," or send us 
help. The laborers are few — the Lord of the 
harvest should be appealed to, with great fervor 
and importunity by the Church for more laborers — 
the prayer to be successful, must be attended with 
corresponding efforts. Institutions of learning 
must be sustained by the Church, and particularly 
when young men for the ministry can be aided in 
their high profession. To aid young men 
preparing for the ministry, not only personal effort 
should be made, but education associations should 
be formed ; a congregation, a Presbytery should 
aid all the young men, candidates for the ministry, 
who need aid, to receive an education, and send 
them to some good institution capable of qualifying 



142 



MORE MINISTERS WANTED. 



them to come up fully to our excellent standard, 
and as much farther as circumstances may justify. 

The first duty of the Church, in supplying the 
fields white already to harvest, is to pray the Lord 
of the harvest, who alone has the right to call 
laborers, to call a full supply for the field. 

The second duty is to aid them to obtain that 
education necessary, if they have not obtained it, 
and have not the means themselves. Education 
societies should be formed, and to sustain them is 
the third step the Church should take. The 
fourth step should be to form Home and Foreign 
missionary societies, as well as the congregational 
call, to sustain those that God may call and qualify 
for the work. All these steps taken by our 
Church, the Macedonian cry will be responded to 
in the true spirit of the gospel, and ministers will 
go in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of 
Christ ; men will be sent to preach the gospel, 
with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and 
the harvest of the earth will be gathered. The 
University at Lebanon will afford all the aid it 
can: the tuition of young men for the ministry 
shall be gratis. A lecture on some branch of 
theology shall be gratis, once a week. The 
Church and citizens of Lebanon will aid, and are 
doing what they can. Let the Church abroad, 
as well as here, pray and contribute of their 
means as God has prospered them, and the work 
will advance. 



t H E DHURtffi WANTS MOTHERS. 143 



Oar system of doctrines will do ; the consti- 
tution of our Church will do ; but we want men 
of great energy of character in sufficient numbers, 
to send into all the world, to aid other Christian 
denominations in the world's conversion. 

Our Church is purely American. Its doctrines 
more conservative, or as much so as any other, 
and therefore well calculated to hasten the 
millennial glory of the Church of Christ. 



THE CHURCH WANTS MOTHERS. 

The Church not only needs more ministers of 
the right stamp, but she wants mothers to train up 
children for the Church. It is said, when France 
was involved in national difficulties, some ladies 
were in conversation together on that subject; and 
the conclusion was, that France needed mothers 
to train up sons for the defence of their country. 
Bonaparte heard the remark, and directed the 
mothers of France to train up their sons under 
the sound of the drum, and other instruments of 
music, with a view to inspire them in early life 
with martial skill and military ardor. The result 
was that he soon had an invincible army to defend 
his country. It has been said, they that rock the 
cradle govern the world. If so, and we think it 



144 THE CHURCH VV ANTS MOTHERS. 

pretty correct, the Church wants mothers to 
inspire the children with a missionary spirit in 
early life. The field the Church has to cultivate, 
is large ; the country she has to incorporate is 
extensive ; the enemies she has to conquer are 
many and powerful. She wants ministers of 
the right stamp; and mothers must aid, by 
inspiring a love for Christ and souls in the hearts 
of their sons. Let them talk to their children 
about the wretched condition of the world, the 
love of God, the death of Christ for the world, 
the Holy Spirit's influence on the world, and the 
high commission given to men — •" Go ye into all 
the world and preach the gospel to every creature," 
with the promise made, " Lo, I am with you 
alway, even to the end of the world." And above 
all, let mothers loan their Samuels to the Lord, as 
long as they live ; let them pray the Lord of the 
harvest to send laborers into his harvest. And, if 
he should call their sons, aid them in obtaining a 
suitable education, make their coats, and furnish 
them, as far as possible, with every thing in their 
power, so that they may minister before the Lord. 
How many mothers, at an early period, inspire 
their sons with prejudice and opposition to religion, 
and the office of the holy ministry. They tell 
their sons, that the office is not honorable, not 
lucrative, much labor and little profit. You must 
not think of being a preacher. Other employ- 
ments and professions are more reputable and 



T H E C H (J R C H W ANTS MOTHERS. 145 

profitable. Look at the merchant, the poli- 
tician, the lawyer, the doctor. Strive, my son, 
to be something, and do not throw yourself away. 
Your parentage is too respectable, your endow- 
ments too rich, your talents too great, and mind 
too noble, to engage in such an unprofitable 
employment as the gospel ministry. And thus, no 
doubt, mothers, who ought to aid the church, hang 
as dead weights on the wheels of Zion, and are 
keeping back many whom the Lord would send. 
Oh ! ye mothers in Israel, have you dedicated your 
children to God 1 Train them up to be his. 
And although you have not the right to call them 
to the work of the holy ministry ; yet you can, 
and you ought to train them up to the Lord's 
service. And although you cannot call them to 
the work, yet for want of your aid, many whom 
the Lord calls may be kept back. And were the 
sons of the Church dedicated to God, and trained 
up with a spirit of Christian enterprise, the Lord of 
the harvest would call more ; and those called 
would meet with more aid, might be sooner in the 
field, and better laborers. 

Mothers in the Church, let me say a word to 
you before I close. You may have overlooked 
the importance of the office to which God may 
have called your sons; and for which you should 
train them. The office is paramount to all others. 
" He that winneth souls is wise." Should the 
Lord call your Samuels, he will put honor upon 
13 



146 THE CHURCH WANTS SISTERS. 



you the world can never give. Train up your 
sons early to love the Saviour, to love souls. And 
may your sons, whom God may call, raise the flag 
of mercy, in view of many dying sinners, he a 
comfort to you, a blessing to others, and die at 
their posts. 



THE CHURCH WANTS MORE 
SISTERS. 

When the Lord Jesus Christ sent out his 
ministers or disciples, " Peter said to him, we 
have left all and followed thee," Mark x. 28, 29, 
30 ; " And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say 
unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or 
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, 
or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel's, 
but he shall receive a hundred-fold now in this 
time ; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and 
mothers, and children, and lands, with persecution, 
and in the world to come eternal life." The 
ministers of Christ are promised sisters as well as 
other friends ; and at this time, when the Church 
needs so many faithful preachers, and the Lord is 
raising up young men, who are forsaking all, I 
hope for Christ's sake and the gospel's; the 
Church needs sisters who will feel interested lor 



THE CHURCH WANTS SISTERS. 147 

the cause of God. Moses' sisters helped him, 
Paul's aided him, and the present ministers want 
sisters to help them; sisters who will pray for 
them. Sisters of Lebanon, your influence can be 
felt, not only in this congregation and town, but 
as so many youths are thrown amongst you from 
a distance, for educational purposes; and many 
from a distance preparing for the holy ministry, 
your influence will be felt afar off, and through all 
time. In addition to your closet prayers, and 
your prayers at the family altar, (for you are not 
forbidden to pray there, and many of the best 
sisters of the Church have prayed with their 
families — the writer of this had a mother who 
prayed regularly in the absence of the father, and 
her prayers were seldom offered without tears 
from her eyes, and the eyes of her children,) your 
social prayers, united, fervent, faithful prayers will 
be heard at the court of heaven, and answered in 
blessings rich and profuse upon the Church and 
the world. But in addition to your prayers, 
much good may be done by your counsel, example, 
and the labor of your hands ; many weak 
Churches and poor people, have been aided by 
the hands of devoted females. Sisters of Lebanon, 
you are doing much, not only by prayer, but by 
the labor of your hands, I trust ; but can you not, 
by a united effort do more ? United, you would 
provoke one another to love and good works, and 
accomplish more for others. Seek out some 



]48 TH2 C li L II C H WANTS SISTERS. 

benevolent object, some needy person, to whom 
your own bands could minister, and let it be said 
in the day of eternity, by those to whom you have 
ministered, when you shall meet in the streets of 
glory, these are the hands that ministered to me in 
the town of Lebanon or elsewhere, in yonder 
world. Sisters, your united efforts would provoke 
all around you to love and good works. Let me 
remark, in conclusion, that if all the preachers and 
lay members of the Church in Lebanon, fathers 
and mothers, brothers and sisters, were doing what 
they could to honor God and save souls, ignorance 
and crime would blush to be seen in our streets, 
every sinner would repent and turn to God, or 
leave the place ; and our friends at a distance, 
who love their children, would have cause to 
praise God for ever, for the blessings bestowed on 
their children who were sent to Lebanon, in 
whose happiness the sisters took such an active 
part. 

The tender hearted sisters will pardon the free- 
dom I have used in calling on them to help the 
Church. She cannot live without your aid on 
earth, and her bliss would be incomplete in 
heaven, if you were not actively employed there. 



ON CHURCH DOCTRINES. 149 



LETTER ON CHURCH DOCTRINES. 

Addressed to the Editor of the Cumberland Presbyterian. 

I take all the periodicals of the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Church, weekly and monthly, and a 
few short articles have appeared in them from my 
pen ; but I do not recollect of having written any 
thing to you to fill the columns of the Cumber- 
land Presbyterian. I have had many thoughts of 
doing so, but they have gone like the morning 
cloud and early dew. But this morning the Rev. 
Mr. Lindley and myself, in conversation about 
old Ten mile, revived some thoughts which I will 
send you for publication, if you think proper. 

And first, my mind turned on the providence of 
God, that gave birth to the Cumberland Presbyte- 
rian Church. She was not brought forth by a 
spirit of faction. No opposition was entertained 
to the mother Church as a cause of her origin. She 
loved her mother, and would have willingly staid 
under her roof had she not spurned her from her 
bosom. But for what was she thrown from a 
mother's arms 1 Not heresy, immorality, or contu- 
macy, for she was never convicted of either. 
But the providence of God that gave rise to the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in your country 
occupied my mind, and with thoughts on that 
subject the balance of my sheet will be filled. 



150 



ON CHURCH DOCTRINES. 



Early in 1831, if I mistake not, a vacant 
congregation of the Presbyterian Church on 
Upper Ten mile, Washington county, Pa., having 
seen in Buck's Theological Dictionary, a succinct 
account of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
by their Session, directed one or two of their 
members to write to some member of the Cumber- 
land Presbyterian Church. At the General 
Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
in May, 1831, Dr. Cossit laid before that body a 
letter or two from that country, requesting some one 
or more ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church to visit them. Whereupon the Assembly 
appointed Rev. Messrs. Alexander Chapman, 
John Morgan, A. M. Bryan, Reuben Burrow, and 
R. Donnell to visit that country. Those brethren 
appointed to hold a Camp Meeting on Tenmile, 
Washington county, Pa., the third Sabbath of 
September following, if the people were willing 
to do so. They parted in Nashville in May. 
Chapman, Morgan, and Bryan, soon after started, 
and travelling and preaching through Kentucky 
and Ohio, reached their destination perhaps some 
time in July. Burrow and Donnell passed through 
Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and part of 
Maryland, crossing the Alleghany Mountains, on 
the Cumberland Road, and met their brethren on 
Saturday, before the third Sabbath in September, 
according to appointment, in a large encampment 
on Tenmile, Washington county, Pa. I then 



ON CHURCH D C T R INES. 



151 



felt, and jet feel, the Lord directed that mission. 
When I survey the ground over which I travelled, 
in that country, and remember the kind reception 
we met with, the many warm hearts and weeping 
eyes we left behind, when we bid farewell to that 
land, we could wish ourselves standing in your 
midst once more. But this wish may never be 
met, until we meet in heaven. To that land may 
all our hearts aspire and our faces be set ! 

The doctrines first preached amongst you are, 
we presume, preached still — a system calculated 
to give God all the glory, and yet to save the 
veriest sinner of Adam's family who believes in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. I will close with a brief 
summary of the Doctrines: — 

1st. the Unity of God. 2dly. The Trinity of 
God. 3rdly. His perfections, divided into three 
classes; 1st. His moral, which constitute a rule of 
action. 2dly. His natural wisdom and power, 
which constitute an agent. 3rdly. Those perfec- 
tions which convey to our mind, an idea of the 
degree in which he possesses the rule and power 
of action. He is infinite, eternal, and unchange- 
able in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, 
goodness and truth, 

4. Man was created upright, but fell from that 
holy and happy estate, into an estate of sin and 
misery. 

5. God graciously chose all mankind to a day 
of probation in Christ, and personal election turns 



152 



ON CHURCH DOCTRINES, 



on sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the 
truth. 

6. Jesus Christ is both divine and human— two 
distinct natures and one person for ever. 

7. He died for all men. As many as were 
elected to a day of probation, were atoned for by 
the Son. 

8. The Holy Spirit convinces the world, and 
operates on as many as were atoned for, and as 
many as were elected. All were atoned for, 
because the Father had chosen all to obtain salva- 
tion through Jesus Christ. 

9. Conviction is the result of Divine operation* 

10. Repentance. 

11. Faith in Christ 

12. Justification. 

13. Adoption. 

14. Regeneration. 

15. Sanctification. 

16. Glorification. 

17. The resurrection of the dead, both of the 
just and unjust. 

18 A day of judgment and a state of future 
rewards and punishments. 

And now, my dear brother, as I may never 
more see you, or any of the dear people who read 
your valuable paper, let me exhort you all to stand 
fast in the faith — quit yourselves lita men — be 
strong. The Church in that country must ace 
defensively. Sustain your own ground, ^ut be not 



ON CHURCH DOCTRINES. 



153 



contented with defence alone. You must operate 
aggressively; you must pull down strongholds of 
sin and Satan : you must strive for Church 
extension, and when you lengthen your cords 
you must strengthen your stakes. There is 
much land yet to be possessed: and while you 
are defending your own ground, and building up 
your own Church, always be ready to extend the 
hand of Christian friendship, to all w T ho are doing 
the w T ork of Christ, as ye also do. You must not 
be inattentive to Education, that excellent hand- 
maid of the Church. The old saving is true, 
they that rock the cradle govern the world, and 
they that teach the children will church them. 
Do not think if you are inattentive to schools, 
you can hold up your Churches. Your people 
must take an active part in the labor and expenses 
of schools, and so with your ministers ; and never 
believe you can serve God with that which costs 
you nothing. 

Finally, brethren, farewell ! Be perfect, be of 
£ood comfort, be of one mind. Live in peace, 
and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 
Work with God, and work with one another. 



154 INTERESTS OF THE CHURCH. 



THE INTERESTS OF THE CHURCH. 

The University of Lebanon promises, at this 
time, to meet the most sanguine expectations of 
its friends ; and could there be a Theological 
Department, in full operation, the Church in 
general would be greatly profited. A Theological 
Department, well sustained, has long been a desid- 
eratum in our Church, and if our Church would 
form Educational Societies, and by personal, 
congregational, and Presbyterial efforts, aid all 
young men connected with the Church, whom 
God might call to preach, and send them here, or 
to some good institution of learning, the call for 
pastors and missionaries would soon be met. 
Especially if the Church will pray the Lord of 
the harvest to send more laborers, and then sustain 
those who labor in the field, either as pastors or as 
missionaries, our Board of Missions would then 
have men and means to meet the Macedonian cry, 
coming up from every direction. The Board wish 
to take no young man away from any field, where 
he can be sustained : all the Board wish, is, to carry 
out, as fully as possible, the designs of the Church. 
Young men, coming up to Lebanon to prepare for 
the ministry, will not be influenced by the Board 
to leave the congregations and Presbyteries which 



RELIGION OF THE BIBLE. 



155 



have sent them here, aiding them to come, and 
willing to sustain them on their return. But if 
Churches and Presbyteries will not aid them in 
coming, and not sustain them on their return, the 
Board would wish to aid, when it would be neces- 
sary and send to destitute parts. 

The Church need not. be afraid in sending her 
young ministers here to prepare for the work, that 
the Church here or the Board, will send them to 
other fields of labor, when they can be sustained by 
the country from which they come. We are 
workers together with God. The Lord, whose 
the field is, designs it should be cultivated ; and 
our Church ought to labor to carry out his designs. 
Our beloved Church has not had much experience, 
either in aiding young men to obtain an education, 
or in supporting those who are laboring in the field. 
But she is improving in every respect, and we hope 
soon, she will practically know how to promote her 
own interest, by sustaining those who labor for her 
prosperity. 



RELIGION OF THE BIBLE. 

I approve of the religion of the Bible, because it 
is just to God and safe to man ; and it has more 
claims to our confidence and love, than any other, 



156 RELIGION OF THE BIBLE. 

from the fact that it has the strongest wisdom to 
sustain its claims, and the best object to warm the 
heart and sanctify the affections. The pardon it 
grants is full and free, and for Christ's sake, the 
image it restores to the heart, confirms the cove- 
nant. Faith enters into it as the seal of the Holy 
Spirit, and the earnest of the believer's inheritance: 
' after that ye believed ye were sealed with the Holy 
Spirit of promise.' And the seal is to the day of re- 
demption — until all the business of time is wound 
up. But there are many things connected with 
these great cardinal points of but small moment, 
about which Christians differ; yet, correct opinions, 
even in the smallest matters, are the best guardians 
of Christian morality and practical religion ; and, 
therefore, should be sought after by all men who 
know and love the truth. The religion of the Bible 
binds us to God and one another — erroneous sen- 
timents have a tendency to separate us from God 
and man. God is love, and he that loveth dwelleth 
in God and God in him : and he that loveth God, 
loveth him that is begotten of him. 

I will here take the liberty to object to the 
opinions entertained by some professed Christians. 
— I object to any mode of Christian baptism 
being considered essential to Church membership, 
and communion at the Lord's table, from the fol- 
lowing considerations : 

1st. Because the Bible no where positively 
expresses the mode, and to entertain the sentiment, 



RELIGION OF THE BIBLE. 157 

that the mode is essential to Church-membership 
and Christian communion, is a postscript, or, add- 
ing to the word of God. 

2nd. It confounds the mode with the thing 
done, and is calculated to establish a formal or ex- 
ternal religion. 

3rd. I object to the mode being essential, be- 
cause it is contrary to experimental religion. Every 
Christian under the influence of first love, which 
is simple and sincere, loves all that love the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and could, without regard to modes 
or forms, meet them at the Lord's table. But the 
sentiment that makes the mode of baptism essential 
to communion, is contrary to Christian experience 
— not only the young, but old Christian — for 
whenever the Christian feels the love of God, he 
feels, also, love to the brethren, or all who have the 
divine image. 

4th. I object to the sentiment, because it created 
schism in the body of Christ. Every Christian is a 
member of Christ's spiritual body, whether Jew or 
Gentile ; if he believe in Christ, he is a member of 
his body. But he that makes the mode essential to 
Christian communion, cuts off from Christ some 
of the dear members of his body. 

5th. I Object to the sentiment, because it is des- 
titute of Christian courtesy. The community that 
makes the mode of baptism essential to membership 
and communion at the Lord's table, do not inquire 
for testimonials of good behaviour, when they 



158 



COMMENT ON J U D E NINTH. 



receive members from other churches. A certificate 
of good standing in other churches, is of no value. 
This is contrary to Christian courtesy, and the cour- 
tesy of all associations ; and it opens a door of 
retreat to all who wish to withdraw, to do so, 
without asking the body to which they belong for 
testimonials of their good standing in society. 



COMMENT ON JUDE NINTH. 

" Yet Michael, the archangel, when contending 
with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, 
durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but 
said, The Lord rebuke thee." 

1. From the text, we learn, that devils are intel- 
ligent beings, and were made upright, but kept not 
the'r first estate. 

2. They will contend with good and great 
angels, who have kept their first estate, and also 
with good men. 

3. The subjects about which they dispute, are 
such things as are not clearly revealed in the Bible. 
Such things as are clearly revealed, can be easily 
sustained. The devils themselves, acknowledge 
Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. 



COMMENT ©Si JUDE NINTH. 159 

4. Good angels and men leave God to be both 
Judge and Executioner. 

Angels are intelligent beings : and failing from 
their first estate, do not lose their intellectual powers, 
but their good moral qualities. And although 
they are intelligent, they are intelligent devils — ■ 
disposed to dethrone Jehovah, and deface his image 
in man, or wherever it is found. The devil is a 
tempter — a disputant — and, if he loves any thing, 
he loves sin — he loves to dispute — because, by 
disputation, he may put angels and good men off 
their guard, and lead them to usurp the throne of 
God, and take the reins of government into their 
own hands, and thus rebuke the devil — themselves 
not saying, The Lord rebuke thee. 

But 2nd. The subjects of dispute are dark and 
uncertain things ; — such as the body of Moses. 
Moses died in the land of Moab, and the Lord 
buried him in the valley; and no man knoweth of 
his sepulchre until this day. Had the children of 
Israel found his body, they would likely have wor- 
shipped it. The Lord acted wisely in concealing 
it ; and are we not safe in saying, many other 
things are concealed from man, not essential to his 
salvation, which, if they had been plainly revealed, 
might have become objects of worship. The mode 
of water baptism, seems not to be plainly revealed. 
Baptism is enjoined, but the mode is not so clear. 
And on account of its obscurity, and not being 
essential to salvation, it is one of the best subjects 



160 



C O M MEN T ON JUDE NINTH. 



for the Devil to dispute about. The mode can't, 
be settled by the Bible : and if it could, it would 
riot save the sinner. But inasmuch as it is a 
Church ordinance — but its mode not known — it 
would do for devils to dispute about, and all such 
doubtful matters. The devil has much more to 
contend about. Clear important truths admit of 
but little contention. An old preacher once said 
in the pulpit, that he had often been asked about 
Pharaoh's chariot, and the sprinkled birds, but no 
one had ever asked him what it was to be born 
again. 

But 3rd. Railing accusations should not be 
brought against the Devil. It is true, that irony has 
been used by good men against bad men ; and there 
are some vices, arid perhaps some errors, which 
can only be put to the blush by ridicule. And 
there are some men who think they never have a 
powerful antagonist, unless he can rail and use as 
hard words as themselves. But Michael did not 
determine the subject by hard words, but left this 
dark and doubtful subject, and the sentence to be 
passed upon him, to the Lord. Michael was a 
good angel, and would not claim to be Judge and 
executioner. He was a holy angel, and would not 
sin so against God. He was a chaste angel, and 
could not pollute the language of heaven. He 
was a subordinate angel, and would leave all to 
God. He was a peaceable angel, and knew that 
railing was contrary to the Prince of Peace. 



devils Casting our devils. 161 

It may be that Michael was entrusted with the 
burial of Moses ; and the Devil, who was once an 
angel of light, was well acquainted with him, con- 
demned him for concealing the grave and body ol 
Moses. He reasoned with Michael thus : It would 
be of great service to the children of Israel, to 
know where bis body was; — and thus tried to get 
Michael to betray his trust. And when he would 
believe and obev Qod rather than submit to his rea- 
soning, he bad recourse to railing. This he could 
do as a devil. But although Michael could reason, 
be must not rail. In this, the Devil could excel 
Michael ; but Michael submitted all to God. So, my 
brethren, let us do in all cases, when brought in 
contact with the Devil. I have seen much evil grow 
out of devils casting out devils. Whenever we 
attempt to cast out devils, let us do it by the finger 
of God 



DEVILS CASTING OUT DEVILS. 

Not long since, reviewing the history of the 
world, a case came up, which transpired about 
eighteen hundred years ago, which interested me 
very much ; and I thought I would give it to the 
world; and it possibly might illustrate some dark 
and difficult cases in the nineteenth centurv. 
1 I 



J 62 D. E V I L S CASTING OUT DEVILS. 

The case was this : One devil casting out 
another, I was much interested to learn his 
process, and see how he could accomplish his 
object, and how his process would result; and it 
turned out just like a devilish effort would do — - 
both parties were injured. But the one that 
commenced the attack was the most injured. 
That you may see that the case I refer to was 
not fiction, see in the History of the World, 
Acts xix. 13-16 : " Then certain of the vagabond 
Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them 
that had evil spirits, the name of the Lord Jesus, 
saying, We adjure you, by Jesus, whom Paul 
preacheth. And there were seven sons, of one 
Seeva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did 
so. And the evil Spirit answered and said, Jesus 
I know, and Paul I know ; but who are ye I 
And the man in whom the evil Spirit was, 
leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed 
against them, so thai they fled out of that house 
naked and wounded." 

f have observed, that in the process of one 
devil casting out another, he never attempts it 
as a devil, but always puts on another form — 
an angel of light; or, as in the case before us, 
the attack against the evil Spirit was made in 
the name of Jesus, whom Paul preached. He 
always goes masked : hence, he always attends 
masquerade parties and balls, and attempts but 
little, in this world, without a mask ; but he is 



DEVILS CASTING OUT DEVILS. 163 

still as much of a devil, when he goes in an 
angel's dress, and in the name of- Christ, and his 
ohject is the same, as though he appeared in 
the Devil's livery ; and, when he, in his angelic 
dress, opposes Christianity, he always calls Christ 
Beelzebub, and does not oppose him for a good 
work, but. for blasphemy- — he being a man, maketh 
himself a God. Just so, when he opposes the 
Church of Christ; he calls Christians hypocrites; 
and in his angelic dress, he is going to purge the 
Church of its hypocrites and false prophets; but, 
although he is thus dressed, he has the devil's 
spirit. Enmity is his nature, .and his operations 
will show what spirit he is of. Satan cannot 
love, he hates morality ; but never opposes it, 
until he gives it the name of vice, and then 
becomes the opposer of vice ; but, by such a 
spirit as to open the very flood-gates of immorality 
upon the world ; and the evil spirit he opposed 
in an angel's dress, leaps upon him, and overcomes 
his angel dress, and he shows himself all devil; 
then the people learn, when, perhaps, it is too 
late, that the devil was at the bottom of all : and, 
although it was his great zeal for religion and 
morality which led him to such action, yet, his 
course to stop it only opened the way to more 
immorality and irreligion. If he really appeared 
the devil opposing the devil, his kingdom would 
be divided, and could not stand; but he appears 
as an angel of light opposing the devil, and the 



164 DEVILS C AST I N U OUT DEVILS. 

people are blinded by him; and too often join 
with him, and cry out, Come and see my zeal 
for the Lord of Hosts ! when the spirit of the 
devil is in it. And the result is, when we oppose 
any thing under the name of evil, with an evil 
spirit, we are overcome by the evil spirit, and our 
professed Christianity is overcome, and we are 
found on the devil's side. With our professed 
zeal for literature, -morality, and religion, we injure 
every thing good, and contribute to the devil's 
kingdom. 

The devil is fond of excitement, and seems to 
impregnate the very air (for he is the prince and 
power of the air) with faction ; and when the 
excitement abates, the feelings settles down in 
opposition to God and religion, and people become 
opposed to each other, and an unpleasant state 
of heart-burning is felt in society. The devil has 
his plan of bringing on his revivals, and he always 
commences more like an angel than a devil. He 
only whispers at first, and that prepares the way 
ro talk confidentially, with promises to keep secret; 
but the secret keeper wants somebody else to help 
keep the secret : and some get it, who think the 
secret too good or bad to be kept, and it is no 
longer a secret: property is injured, society is 
injured, and perhaps the very one who rose up 
to cast out the devil is overcome, and suffers more 
than the one he attempted to cast out. as in the 
text before us: the evil spirit answers, '-Jesus 



A SHORT SERMON. 



165 



T know, and Paul I know ; but who are ye ?" 
The excitement rises higher, and the last evil 
is worse than the first : the tide rises to the highest 
point, and then begins to abate. It began by evil 
imaginations, and rises to fixed hatred, and death 
is the finishing stroke. 

Let us, my brethren, never attempt to cast out 
devils by Beelzebub, lest we be overcome by the 
very devils we oppose, and have to leave that 
house naked and wounded. 



A SHORT SERMON FROM A LONG 
TEXT. 

2 Chron. xix. 5 — 7: "And he set judges m 
the land, throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, 
city by city ; and said to the judges, Take heed 
what ye do : for ye judge not for man, but 
for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. 
Wherefore now, let the fear of the Lord be upon 
you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity 
with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor 
taking of gifts." 

Our text develops the policy of Jehoshaphat, 
(under the Divine Hand,) the son of Asa: he set 
his heart to seek the Lord God of his father David, 



166 A SHORT SERMON 

and to bring Judah back to the service of the true 

o 

God. He had riches and honor in abundance, and 
his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord. 
He sent heralds to make known the will of God to 
the people ; but he found that mere declaration was 
not sufficient ; judicial proceedings must be resorted 
to also. He therefore established two classes of 
judges: one ecclesiastic, the other civil. These 
judges or elders, were formed into three courts. TMe 
court of three, determined small matters ; perhaps 
it was only a court of arbitration — each party 
choosing a judge, and they two chose a third. 
The second court consisted of twenty-three judges; 
this court determined matters of great moment. 
And the third court, or sanhedrim, consisted of 
seventy or seventy-two judges ; this court deter- 
mined matters of the highest character — both in 
Church and State. 

No judge was allowed to receive presents, nor 
to regard men either for poverty or riches, or to 
follow a multitude, or be governed by public 
opinion ; but according to law and evidence. No 
man was to be condemned unheard, nor on the 
testimony of less than two or three witnesses ; some 
of them called of God, others elected by the people. 
Different manners obtained of making known the 
sentence. The Jews made the sentence known 
by declaring — thou art innocent or guilty ; the 
Romans, by casting various tablets into a box — 
marked with for approval, and c. for condemna- 



F R O M A L O N G TEX T 



167 



tion ; some of the Greeks, by giving a white stone 
as the emblem of innocence, and a black one as the 
emblem of guilt. See an allusion to this in Rev. 
ii. 17. 

The Church has always had its ministers called 
of God, and its judicial courts. The Gospel Church 
has its courts of judges, ministers called of God, and 
elders chosen by the people. See 1 Cor. v. 12, 
3 3. "For what have I to do to judge them also 
that are without? Do not ye judge them that are 
within ? But them that are without God judgeth." 

The power of a Church court is purely moral 
and spiritual. It is the duty of this court to main^ 
tain the purity and peace of the Church, and to 
labor for her prosperity ; and if any member of the 
Church has knowledge of any error or crime which 
ought to be noticed, let it be brought before this 
court, and not spread it abroad to the scandal of 
the Church: and he who will tell the faults of his 
brother to the world and not to the Church, lays 
himself liable to the censure of the Church. As 
God, therefore, calls men to preach, and also to 
rule in his house, we believe the policy is good in 
the government of the Church, to have its courts 
formed of men called of God, and men elected by 
the people, to act in concert with the ministry. 
The minister needs an advisory counsel, that is 
held responsible to the people for advice given. 
The preachers business is with books, in his 
studio, in the pulpit, and in the domestic circle, 



16S 



A SHORT SERMON 



giving instruction and offering prayer, and has 
nothing, or little, to do with secular matters; and 
he needs advisors acquainted with the people in all 
their vocations of life, that in the government of a 
Church those who rule may be acquainted with all 
the circumstances of its members. If the preacher 
has to govern without an appointment by the people 
to aid him, he will have advisors ; every member 
of the Church will advise — but who is responsible 
for that advice given. And if the counsel of brethren 
is not taken by the preacher, how many become 
offended that their sage advice was not taken ? 
But when advice or counsel is given, or discipline 
carried out by members chosen by the people, they 
are held responsible to the Church who elected 
them to aid in forming a Church court, and giving 
advice and counsel to their minister: the Church 
court, then, being formed of men chosen of God to 
preach as well as administer government, and men 
chosen by the people, let all such courts, when 
assembled for judicial purposes, regard with deep 
interest the instructions given by God to these 
judges: — You must not condemn or cast a member 
out of the Church unheard, nor on the testi- 
mony of less than two or three witnesses. You 
must not receive presents to pervert judgment. 
Money may not be offered the judges; but perhaps 
that which may be better calculated to pervert 
judgment, great kindness may be shown by the dif- 
ferent parties, with a view to blind the eyes. Gifts 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 



169 



♦ of any kind must have no influence on the court ; 
popular opinion, or the voice of the multitude, must 
not influence the court in its judicial proceedings; 
the sentiment should never be absent from the 
court, that it is to act in God's stead ; every mem- 
ber of a Church court should lav his personal 
feelings and interest aside, and remember he judges 
for the Lord and not for man, and that God is with 
him in the judgment, and with the Lord there is no 
iniquity, nor taking of gifts. Members of Church 
courts should take good heed to act impartially, 
wisely, and justly, as they act for God who is with 
them in the judgment, and at whose bar they will 
soon appear. 

May every court of Christ on earth be a holy 
court 



ON THE CONFESSION OF FAITH. 

I have read the discussion on faith and a revision 
of our book, and have thought it might be of some 
advantage to say what the fathers, and those who 
adopted it, thought and said when they adopted 
the Confession of Faith. 

The framers of the book did not believe it per- 
fect. They believed many words were retained in 
the compilation which might be construed by those 



170 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 



specially, who were trained up under the West- 
minster Confession as the most ultra sentiments of 
Calvinism ; and they found it difficult to expunge 
every word from which might be inferred strong 
Calvinism, without making a new book entire. 
But they thought that if the body of the work fully 
expressed our views that those words and phrases 
more ambiguous, ought to be understood in consis- 
tency with the body or general tenor of the work: 
and under this conviction they left words which 
might have been expunged ; and the book was 
unanimously adopted. The following may be 
clearly found in the Confession : 

1st. That all men were chosen or elected to a 
day of grace or state of probation. None were 
reprobated from eternity. 

2nd. That Jesus Christ is both God and man 
in two distinct natures, and person for ever. 

3rd. That he, by the grace of God, tasted death 
for every man, and consequently for the whole 
world. 

4th. That the Holy Spirit is sent to convince 
the whole world, that his operation on the human 
heart is as extensive as the atonement; and the 
atonement perfectly accords with the election to a 
day of mercy. God chose all men, Christ died for 
all men, and the Holy Ghost strives with all men. 
In the offices of the united three, there is no dis- 
crepancy. 

5th. That Adam represented all his posterity, 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 



J 71 



and that his sin was imputed to his posterity, and 
that we are all guilty mortals and totally depraved. 
But the election gave all an opportunity to receive 
justification and salvation. The atonement consti- 
tutes the ground of the sinner's pardon. And the 
Holy Spirit, by his agency and means, instituted, 
controls, disposes and gives the sinner ability to do 
what he could not do without that influence. He, 
the sinner, is able to do two things, and they must 
be done in order to salvation. He must repent and 
believe the gospel. Faith and repentance go hand 
in hand, only faith takes the first step. He first 
believes that there is a God, that God is truly a 
holy God, and will punish the sinner. This is the 
grace of repentance in its first grade; the sinner 
can and ought to put forth the exercise; but when 
he has done all he can do in the way of repentance, 
he has not lessened his guilt in view of law ; he 
must believe in Jesus Christ, or receive him, or 
commit the keeping of his soul to Christ. If he do 
not yield to the Spirit, he cannot repent ; and if 
he do not repent he cannot believe ; and if he do 
not believe he cannot be justified ; and if not justi- 
fied he must be damned. 

The gospel, which is an economy of mercy, 
originated with God, and this makes it gracious ; 
and it is carried out in man's agency, and this 
secures personal accountability. 

In the Book we declare what God does, and 
then what man does. Salvation is an effect pro- 



1 72 EFFICIENCY IN THE CHURCH. 

duced by a concurrency of both agencies. Then 
God begins and man must follow or yield. 

I think the book fully gives our stand points, 
and by them doubtful words and ideas must be 
understood. I could write . all day on this sub- 
ject ; but might darken counsel by words without 
knowledge. 



EFFICIENCY IN THE CHURCH. 

The longer I live the more interest I feel for the 
Church of Christ. It has a great work to do. The 
Jewish Church has introduced the Saviour, who, 
by his death, has atoned for the sin of the world. 
It now belongs to the Christian Church to give 
publicity to what he has done, and spread his name 
abroad to the ends of the earth. I believe ihe Lord 
has raised up the Cumberland Presbyterian Church 
in this great valley, and in these ends of the earth, 
as a little missionary family, born in this field of 
missions to aid other Christian Churches in 
hastening that glorious day, when the world shall 
be filled with the glory of God. Perhaps no branch 
of Zion has superior advantages in the field of 
labor, and were her efficiency equal to her advan- 
tages, no Church could do more to promote the 
cause of Christ. The manner of her birth gives 



EFFICIENCY IN THE CHURCH. 173 

her advantages ; she was born in a revival of re- 
ligion, vet talked of as the great revival of eighteen 
hundred She was born in this land of liberty, 
and is properly an American Church, if not the 
only one. The form of government she has 
adopted is not only congenial with our civil form, 
but the model from which it was drawn. Both 
preacher and people have a voice in the Church, 
from the lowest to the highest judicature ; her sys- 
tem of doctrines equally distant from the extremes 
of Theology so long taught in the world, and like 
a pendulum, finds its centre between the extremes 
of vibration, and being a medium system, it is more 
acceptable to the unbiased mind, and gives our 
Church doctrinal advantages no other enjoys. As 
relates to the terms of admission into the ministry, 
she thinks the Great Head of the Church, in con- 
stituting the ministerial body, has given a fail- 
specimen. Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, learned, 
less learned and eloquent. 

Her terms of Church-membership and com- 
munion. She considers Christian baptism an 
ordinance of the Church ; but makes a difference 
between the thing done and the mode of doing it. 
She would not make any mode of water baptism 
essential to membership in the Christian Church, 
or communion at the Lord's table. To make the 
mode a test of membership or communion, she 
thinks contrary to Christian experience and the 
religion of the Bible. Her constitution provides for 



174 EFFICIENCY IN THE CHURCH. 

the pastoral relation, as well as the field of mis- 
sions. She also has a Board of Foreign, as well as 
Domestic Missions, which promises much, though 
in its infancy. She may not have every rule or 
by-law to aid her in furthering the cause ; but 
her constitution leaves an open door for every 
facility she may see proper to adopt. We ask, 
now, what is the great, desideratum in our Church 
at the present time \ We answer, efficiency, a 
consecrated laity and ministry. Our doctrines, 
government, and rules, will not build up the Church, 
nor be instrumental in the conversion of sinners, 
without efficient preachers and people. A preacher 
who, like the lazy dumb dog, neither barks nor 
bites, will not guard the house. Our Church 
needs, at the present time, devotion to the cause. 
The best constructed ship needs a captain; the 
best constructed engine needs an engineer; and 
the best Church constitution must be carried 
out by efficient men. Our Church has schools, 
colleges, and a prosperous University, with her 
. other advantages. Let her awake from her slum- 
ber, and put on the whole armor of God. Let her 
use the advantages she has, and she will be a pros- 
perous Church. I will conclude by saying, peace 
be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy 
palaces. 



A VIEW OF THE PRESENT, ETC. 175 



A VIEW OF THE PRESENT AND THE 
PAST. 

In a Letter to a Friend in Lebanon, 
i 

The children of Israel were directed to remem- 
ber, all the way the Lord their God led them, with 
a view to excite humility and gratitude to God for 
his care'over them. The Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church should never forget the way the Lord has 
led her, these thirty-six years past, and for ten years 
before, the miracles of grace wrought in the west 
which paved the way for her organization. I am 
now an old man. In 1798, I set out to seek the 
Lord. In November of 1800 I found him, the 
Lord God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and 
of great kindness. In the May of 1801, I con- 
nected with the Presbyterian Church. Great 
changes have taken place since that time. Then 
there was but one Presbyterian Church in the 
United States. Now there are Cumberland Pres- 
byterians, Old and New School Presbyterians; 
and in forty-five years more, there may be many 
more branches of the Presbyterian Churches. 
Some steps have already been taken to found a 
Presbyterian Church North, on abolition principles. 
I hope, as I am an old Elder, and had to wade 
through difficulties, in the organization of the Cum- 



176 



A VIE W OF THE PRESE N T 



bcrland Presbyterian Church, that the members, 
young members of this Church, will not stir up 
strife on that subject; and that we will all work 
together, and all work with God. And if other 
denominations will dispute, divide, and hinder the 
work of God, the brethren of the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Church will keep the unity of the 
Spirit in the bonds of peace. 

Oh! what a change since L810I Then there 
were but nine preachers in the whole body, four of 
whom only were ordained : all the preachers then 
could have been put into one pulpit, and nearly all 
the members into one house. But the Lord has 
greatly increased our infant Church. We should 
remember all the way the Lord our God has led 
us. Then we had no religious paper, no meeting- 
houses or but few, no institutions of learning, and 
not as many grammar books, as we now have 
colleges. Now, Dr. Cossitt, as you live away in 
that favored town, editing a religious paper, and in 
sight of the University, where so many young men 
are prepariug for the ministry, some of them may 
in a short time come and preach away here, to the 
old Elder and the congregation in which he lives. 
Oh ! he wants to hear some of them, whose tongues 
may be like the pen of a ready writer, whose heads 
may be fountains of waters, and whose hearts may 
be filled with love. Can t you talk to them and tell 
them what a great work they have to do, and how 
many advantages they have over the first young 



AND THE PAST. 



177 



men in the Church 1 Tell them, if they will live 
humble and be useful, the Churches will be pleased 
with them and the institution, and will help to 
endow it. Tell them how some of us preached 
and wept, and prayed, before they went there. Old 
Brother Calhoun, I understand, lives not far from 
that place ; he will exhort them to diligence. And 
there is brothers Donnell, T. C. Anderson, and 
many others, who know the necessities of the 
Church, and will aid them in preparing for the 
important work. Tell the good people of Lebanon 
to take good care of the sons of the Church, pray 
for them and watch over them. Some of their 
fathers and mothers would not have sent them 
there, if they had not heard that there were many 
praying people in that place. That the young 
brethren there and every where else, preparing for 
the ministry, may shine as lights in the world, is 
my ardent desire and constant prayer. 

A short history of our beloved Church may be 
profitable to all, and shall close this letter. The 
first Presbytery was constituted 4th of February, 
1810, at Rev. Samuel McAdow's, Dixon county, 
Tenn , by Rev. S. McAdow, Finis Ewing, and 
Samuel King, all of whom have gone to their 
rewards. In April, 1813, two other Presbyteries 
were constituted : the Elk and Logan. These 
Presbyteries met the Cumberland, at the Beech 
meeting-house and constituted a Synod, on the 5th 
of October, 1813. Fasting and prayer, both public 



178 



A VIEW OF THE PRESENT- 



and private, were common at that time. The 4th 
Monday in May, 1817, was observed as a day of 
fasting and prayer, for more laborers. The work 
of God greatly revived that year, and many laborers 
were called forth ; and their circuits w r ere their 
colleges. On the 4th. Tuesday in May, 1820, the 
McGee Presbytery was constituted, in Missouri, 
then a territory. On the 18th of October, 1821, 
the Elk Presbytery was divided, and Alabama 
and Tennessee Presbyteries were ordered to be 
constituted. At this time also, the Anderson 
Presbytery was stricken off from the Logan ; and 
Lebanon from the Nashville. On the 16th oi 
October, 1822, Illinois Presbytery was stricken off 
from the Anderson and McGee Presbyteries. Since 
that time, many Presbyteries and Synods have been 
constituted: the number and brief history of which, 
together with the formation and history of our 
General Assembly, I may hereafter furnish, provided 
no other does so, and I have leisure. Many literary 
institutions of different grades have been established, 
and many periodicals, both weekly and monthly, 
are now published. 

But I must close this interesting narrative. We 
ought to be humble and thankful as a Church, take 
encouragement and labor day and night; our work 
has just commenced. 



C O M M E NT , ETC. 



179 



COMMENT ON FIRST PETER IV. 12. 

ft Beloved, think it not strange concerning the 
fiery trial which, is to try you, as though some 
strange thing happened to you." 

How common it is for Christians to think strange 
of their fiery trials, as though they had never heard 
of such things ; and yet the Bible abounds with 
declarations of this character. " Yea, and all that 
will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecu- 
tion ;" 2 Tim. iii. 12. And again : " These are they 
who have come through great tribulation," &c. 
And have we espoused the cause of Christ, and yet 
think it strange that we have tribulation in the 
present world ? The truth is every individual who 
espouses the cause of Christ, should calculate on 
wading deep waters, breasting heavy storms, and 
passing through the fiery darts ©f the wicked one. 
God tries his people to prove their faith and every 
grace: ' ; the trial of your faith, being much more 
precious than of gold that perisheth.'' One of the 
primitive saints said, " I know that when I am 
tried, I shall come forth as gold." But saints are 
sometimes tried not only to prove their sincerity, 
but to be an example to others. "Ye have heard 
of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of 



180 



C O M M EST ON FIRST P E TER 



the Lord," or the design he had in his afflictions. 
See how varied his trials, and how severe ; one 
came and told him of what had befallen his 
children ; another his camels ; and before he was 
done speaking, another came with evil tidings 
about the sheep, &c, &c., until all he had was 
gone. So with good people in the present day. 
But should we think strange of it ? Not at all. All 
these trials have befallen others, and can we expect 
to escape 1 If we are the heads of families, or the 
heads of any department, our messenger informs us 
one of the children is sick, or one of the house-hold 
servants is ready to die ; your father is at the point 
of death ; your mother cannot live long ; the house is 
deranged, the stock is suffering, the farm is out of 
repair, the crop is burning up for the want of rain, 
or the flood is sweeping it away : but many of these 
are small, and common to all men. Deep interest 
is felt for the education of the children, schools are 
established, good teachers must be had, but there is 
want of union amongst the citizens. One wants 
this teacher, another that one ; and other difficulties 
take place ; union is dissolved and the institution 
broken up ; the parents and guardians are afflicted ; 
harmony is destroyed. But how many civil broils 
and political contentions ! These all contribute to 
fill up the good man's cup. But here is the Church 
of God, preferred by the good man to his chief 
joy. Christians differ; and the fighting of Christ's 
sheep presages foul and stormy weather. Members of 



F01RTH AND TWELFTH. 



181 



the same congregation differ, and are cold-hearted 
to one another; the good man hears of one member 
walking disorderly ; another has neglected the 
sanctuary; the prayer-meeting is cold and but 
thinly attended ; but little attention to the Sabbath 
school; family prayer is neglected, perhaps by 
many; the preacher himself is cold and perhaps 
neglects his duty; the people think the preacher 
can get along better than they can ; he has nothing 
to do but be religious, and we have so many 
troubles ; we must attend to ourselves and let him 
do the best he can ; he don't need our aid — not 
ever our prayers. The good man is grieved ; no 
revivals of religion — none enquiring the way to 
Zion ; all the w r ays of Zion do mourn. A letter 
informs him a congregation has lost one of its most 
prominent lay-members ; another informs him of 
the death of one of the most useful ministers; 
another minister has fallen a prey to temptation. 
All these things combine, with personal and inward 
evils, presumption, and despair, to afflict the pious 
heart. Satan tempts to distrust the faithfulness of 
God; one day I shall fall by the hand of my 
enemy. Hath God forgotten to be gracious 1 Hath 
he, in anger, shut up his tender mercies ? All 
these things, and others innumerable, and perhaps 
much greater, afflict the Christian. " But beloved, 
think if not strange/' Did you live in other parts 
of the world, your i rials might have been as great 
or area *er Hart von lived in David's day, and 



182 COMMENT ON FIRST PETER 

been as good a man as he was, you would perhaps 
have had as severe trials. Had you lived in the 
days of the Saviour and his Apostles, your trials 
would have been more fiery. Had you lived in 
those days, one might have written to you, " many 
of the people say Jesus is mad and hath a devil ; 
why hear ye him?" You would have heard one 
of his disciples had betrayed him, for thirty pieces 
of silver; another had denied him ; and all the rest 
are flying from him. You would next have heard 
the boisterous crowd cry out, "Crucify him, Crucify 
him. He is not fit to live." Who is not fit to live I 
Your only Saviour, the meek and lowly Son of 
God. Oh ! how would you have felt I You would 
have thought those fiery trials indeed. Many 
good men had all these fiery trials. Will you 
think your trials strange ? But more. He is nailed 
to the cross; and the crowd laugh him to scorn ; 
and -at length the hope of Israel dies. The 
heavens are hung in mourning; the afflicted 
disciples say, one to another, " We trusted that it 
was he that should have redeemed Israel." But 
he is buried, a guard surrounds his dead body ; the 
wicked are rejoicing; the Christians are all in 
trouble; some who thought their employment in 
future would be to preach him to the world, now 
talk about going back to their old employments. 
"I go a fishing," said one to his fellow. "I will 
also go with thee," said another. All was dark and 
gloomy ; but the sorrow and silence of that last 



FOURTH AND TWELFTH. 



183 



long night, when the Saviour Jay in the tomb, was 
broken by the descent of an angel; the stone was 
rolled back; the keepers became as dead men ; and 
the hope of Israel rose triumphantly, and shouted 
victory over death. He gladdened the hearts of 
his friends with his bodily presence ; but after a 
few short days, he stepped on a cloud, and was 
shouted welcome to heaven. But his Apostles go 
out to preach and plant Churches; the Holy Ghost 
descends; sinners attend their ministry. But learn 
the troubles of Paul, when Christianity was in its 
infancy. " Demas hath forsaken me, having loved 
this present world ;" and some who would once 
have plucked out their eyes for him, now become 
his enemies. Many went back from the Saviour, 
and walked no more with him. Many deserted 
the Apostles, " but they went out from us, because 
they were not of us." Had we, my brethren, lived 
then, our trials would have been greater than now. 
My dear brethren, of the 19th century, as God has 
told us in his word, that through much tribulation, 
we must enter the kingdom, and as Christ and all 
his followers in every age, have had tribulation, let 
us not think it strange that we are the subjects of 
fiery trials. But let us learn to glory in tribulation, 
and when we are tried we shall come forth as 
gold. "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing- 
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with 
rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him." Let us 
patiently bear the trials of life The Saviour was 



184 



THEOLOGICAL CLASS. 



assailed by Satan, and he repelled him, and the 
angels came and ministered unto him. Let ns 
resist evil spirits ; and after we are tried, as 
individuals and as a Church, angels will minister 
to us. God will revive us again. He has set light 
over against darkness, joy over against sorrow. Tn 
the world ye shall have tribulation ; " but be of 
good cheer," said Christ, "I have overcome the 
world." 

Let us then, my Christian friends, sing with the 
poet, concerning the Saviour : 

" His way was much rougher and darker than mine, 
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine." 



THE THEOLOGICAL CLASS AT 
LEBANON, TENN. 

Dear Young Brethren — The close of the 
Collegiate Year of Cumberland University, is just 
at the door; the parting hour, at least for a time, 
is near at hand, when you must bid your 
brethren farewell ; as you take your leave of the 
stately walls of your edifice ; and the rooms in 
which so many useful lessons have been studied 
and recited, the President, Professors, and Tutors 
who have, with great interest, guarded the morals 
and aided the Voting men of the institution up the 



THEOLOGICAL CLASS 



.185 



hill of science, the pieasant town of Lebanon, its 
pleasant families and citizens, its Churches, prayer 
meetings, Sabbath Schools, and the public ministry 
of the word, with all the useful lectures which have 
been delivered to you How solemn must your 
feelings be. Your faces are towards your father's 
house, or some distant field of labor, and you glance 
your eye back to the hallowed spot where your 
minds, under the tree of liberty, have been enlight- 
ened, and your hearts warmed while science and 
literature have opened their choice treasures; that 
same spot where not only the works of nature, but 
nature's God has revealed himself to some of you,, 
merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in 
goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression 
and sin. But once more, you think of the interesting 
Sabbath Schools you have, under God, built up in 
the surrounding country will you return to water 
them, or will they be taken up by others, and 
sustained when you are gone ? Should you never 
return to visit the schools you have planted, and the 
Churches you have watered in the neighborhood 
of Lebanon, you may, in some distant field, and 
after years have passed by, find some of those very 
Sabbath School boys able ministers, cultivating the 
waste places of Zion. 

Many of you, we hope, will return to this favored 
spot, to prosecute your studies with double vigor, 
both of body and mind, and cultivate the little fields 

in which you have been laboring for some time 
1G 



186 AT LEBANON, TENN. 

past. Others will never return; some will find 
soon their long home ; some will be engaged in 
useful fields of labor employed as Teachers, Pastors 
and Missionaries. But while some, who are now 
here, will never return to the walls of the University; 
yet other young brethren from different parts, will 
come to fill their places. Brethren preparing for 
the ministry, from eight or nine different States, 
are here now: we hope more States will be 
represented here the next year, that Presbyteries 
will aid their candidates for the holy ministry to 
obtain an education here and elsewhere. We 
have no Theological Department endowed here or 
any where else in our Church ; yet it is to be 
hoped, that as our infant and growing Church is so 
rapidly advancing in education, that some of its 
friends will voluntarily make donations to endow a 
Professorship in Theology, and that we may soon 
have a regular Department of Theology in the 
University. 

My dear young brethren, let us live humble, 
humble, humble, wherever we go, and during the 
Vacation, by humility and zeal, according to 
knowledge, be the representatives of this Institu- 
tion. Let the Church and the world see in your 
pulpit labors and private walk, that you are 
improved, intellectually, morally, and religiously, 
that you have not forgotten Zion. Never was 
there a time when our Church and the whole 
world needed more able ministers of the New 



A BURNING AND SHINING LIGHT. 187 



Testament An open door is found almost every 
where for our ministers. The foreign as well as 
the domestic field, calls for laborers. May the 
Lord of the harvest call and qualify for the exten- 
sive field now ready to harvest, more laborers. 



HE WAS A BURNING AND SHINING 
LIGHT. 

rTHE anecdote of the preacher, who once thought 
loud preaching converted people, but afterwards 
learned that it was not the noise, but the light that 
produced the effect — not thunder but lightning — 
has gone the rounds of the papers. We fear that 
some who cannot speak loud, may glory in being 
luminous, because they do not speak loud, and 
therefore infer that, as they are not the thunder 
they must be the lightning. But if we judge from 
the effect of their preaching, they are neither 
lightning nor thunder; for lightning severs the 
stoutest tree, and is always followed by thunder. 
If therefore our preaching be true spiritual lightning, 
it will break the sinner's heart, and the report will 
I be heard afar off 

But, we often glory in the sentiment which 
seems best calculated to promote our own glory. 



188 



O N F R E E C O M M U NION. 



and often overlook what best promotes the glory of 
God. Now, in order best to promote the divine 
glory, we must be burning, as well as shining and 
thundering preachers. John was a burning and 
shining light ; and to be useful, we must burn as 
well as shine. A thundering preacher may affect 
the ear; a luminous preacher affect the eye ; but 
it requires a burning preacher to affect the heart. 
Let us therefore, brethren, endeavor to be burning, 
as well as shining lights ; and if we have the true 
spirit of burning in our preaching, we will warm 
the heart, enlighten the head, and secure to our- 
selves, as ministers, by the effects of our preaching, 
the title of sons of thunder. 



ON FREE COMMUNION. 

The Lord's Supper was instituted for his followers, 
to be observed through all lime, in remembrance of 
him. 

The Church of Christ is divided into several 
members; but it is but one spiritual body, and 
Christ is the head. The members should have the 
same care, one of another, as the members of the 
natural body have ; and if they do not all perform 
the same office, yet they should all subserve the 
interest of the same body 



WHY DO WE SIT STILL? 



189 



Bat should Christians all commune together, at 
the Lord's Table! I answer, "What the Lord 
hath joined together, let not man put asunder." 

We have now thirty States in our Union; they 
are all equally free and independent ; and yet thev 
are united and have one great central point, at 
which to meet and testify that they are free and 
independent States, and yet but one nation. The 
orthodox Churches should have one central point, 
at which to meet, and let the world know they are 
one ; and let that be the Lord's table. Many 
arguments might be offered in favor of free com- 
munion. First, Christians all feel alike, if they do 
not think alike. They can preach together, pray 
together, sing together, and love together ! Should 
they not commune together? I love the com- 
munion of Saints. And will not all meet at last 
in the same holy and happy land! 



WHY DO WE SIT STILL 1 

Let every reader of this question answer. Has 
he a God to glorify, a God worthy of his warmest 
love, arid who requires him to love him with all the 
heart, soul, strength and mind 1 Why does he sit 
still as though he had nothing to do 1 

Again, has he a soul to be saved, and is that sou! 



190 



WHY DO WE SIT STILL! 



valuable I Did it come from the breath of God? 
Is it nourished by the breath of his lips ? Was it 
redeemed by the blood of his Son, and for his 
happiness are his intercessions continuous; and 
when he yields to the spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, 
does it enlighten, convince, and persuade him to 
repent and turn to God ? And why does lie sit still? 
Do angels keep their watchful stations around him, 
and in his most insensible hours are there angels 
awake and hovering over him to arouse him to 
effort, and why does he sit still ? The Church of 
God has important work to do; she has much to 
do on the defensive and she ought to be progressive 
as well as aggressive in her operations, and why- 
does she sit still ? The w r orld is to be converted by 
her instrumentality, and she is to appear before the 
throne of God and praise him day and night in his 
temple; and why does she sit still? 

The world is convulsed, thrones, principalities, 
and powers are falling to the ground, and a crisis 
has come up in its history calculated to aw 7 aken all 
men, and why do we sit still ? The agriculturist, 
the mechanic, the merchant, the lawyer, the 
politician, are all up and at work to secure what 
will soon be wrapped in flames, and why do we sit 
still and neglect the one thing needful ? The 
veriest sinner on earth is rapidly advancing to the 
gate of death, his day of mercy does not stop in its 
motion, and his judgment does not linger, and bis 
damnation does not slumber, and why does he sit 



SIN' A N D HOLINESS. 191 

still ! Let us, my brethren and friends, awake 
from our slumbering, and prepare to see a world on 
fire and a God in grandeur. 



SIN AND HOLINESS. 

Some years a°;o I read an author, who advanced 
the idea that holiness could not be developed to 
created intelligences without the existence of sin; 
and as God designed to develop his holiness, it was 
necessary, in that development, to create intelligent 
beings, and place them under a constitution which 
would be necessarily followed with the introduction 
of moral evil or sin, into the universe. That the 
introduction of sin necessarily had the greatest 
good iu it, because it gave the Creator an opportu- 
nity to make known his perfections. I was 
astonished at the logic as well as the theology, and 
was compelled to call the lo^ic sophistry, and the 
theology heresy. I had thought, and still think, 
the negative is known by the positive, the finite by 
the infinite, falsehood by truth ; and that truth 
could exist of itself, and be known by its own 
infinite excellence, and so to speak is older than 
falsehood ; and so with all the perfections of the 
Deity. Holiness is the infinite, sin is the finite; 
holiness can exist and be known to intelligent beings, 



192 



VV H E N M A Y W E KNO W 



without sin ; but sin cannot exist or be known with- 
out holiness : holiness is therefore the infinite, sin is 
the finite ; holiness has the greatest good in it, sin has 
the greatest evil. Might not the writer as well have 
said, God cannot exist without a Devil, or make 
himself known without an evil being; and as God 
desired to be known, he must first, if he be first 
decree the medium to make himself known, and 
bring into existence devils and wicked men. To 
make holiness dependent on sin, either in its nature 
or development, is to place sin as the infinite and 
holiness as the finite ; sin immutable, holiness immu- 
table ; the Devil as self-existent, and God dependent. 

The theology is heresy ; it makes the Devil the 
Lord's counsellor. But the Lord asks the question, 
who has been his counsellor ? was a devil necessary 
to make known his glory ? Or was he dependent 
on sin to make known his perfections t If so, he 
is not self-existent nor independent. The theology 
is not good, it contradicts the Bible, and the Bible 
is the standard of orthodoxy. 



WHEN MAY WE KNOW AN ENEMY OR 
FRIEND ? 

If we wish to know whether our fellowmen are 
our friends or foes, let us observe the following rules : 
— Circumstances will develop the true feelings of 



AN EN E M Y OR F U I EN U 



J93 



the heart. When we are in health and prosperity 
we are likely to find a professed friend in every 
person ; bat wait until adversity overtakes, and then 
you will find that the true, sincere-hearted friend 
will stick closer to you than before; and the heart 
of an enemy will discover his opposition — he has 
been watching for your halting, and will always 
try to overtake you between the straits. This rule 
will apply to the whole as well as its parts: it will 
apply to the Church as well as the world. How 
many seem to be friends in Z ion's prosperity ; but 
let an evil day come upon the Church — or a 
Church — -and then their true character is known; 
their poisoned arrows are now hurled with fury at 
! the Church, and every advantage is taken of her 
affliction ; some are for leaving the Church in her 
adversity, who were her professed friends in pros- 
I perity. Circumstances make great men ; and 
i circumstances develop the true state of the heart. 
To forsake a friend in adversity argues a want of 
true friendship. Flavel, in his "Nature Spiritualized," 
very strikingly expresses this sentiment. 

"Meditation 4th — Upon a withered posy taken 
up in the way — Finding in my walk a posy of 
I once sweet and fragrant, but now dry and withered 
I I flowers, which I suppose to be thrown away by 
| one that had formerly worn it ; thus, said I, doth 
I the unfaithful world use its friends when Providence 
are hath blasted and withered them. Whilst they are 
N*. i rich and honorable, they will put them into their 



194 



HOW TO KNOW A FRIEND. 



bosoms, as the owner of this posy did whilst it was 
fresh and fragrant ; and as easily throw them away, 
as useless and worthless things, when thus they 
come to be withered. Such usage as this Petronius 
long since complained of : 

"Are they in honor ? . Then we smile like friends ; 
And with their fortunes, all our friendship ends." 

But this loose and deceitful friend stinks so 
odiously in the very nostrils of nature, that a 
heathen poet severely taxes and condemns it as 
most unworthy of a man S 

" "lis base to change with fortune, and deny 
A faithful friend, because in poverty." 

And is this indeed the friendship of the world ? 
Doth it thus use them whom it once honored? 
Then, Lord, let me never seek its friendship. Oh ! 
let me esteem the smiles and honors of men less, 
and thy love and favor more ! Thy love is indeed 
unchangeable ; being pure, free, and built upon 
nothing that is mutable ! Thou never servest thy 
friends as the world doth its darlings." 

Our venerable and highly respected John Flavel, 
who wrote some two hundred years ago, under- 
stood the Bible and the human family, and it was 
then pretty much the same as it is now, if improve- 
ments have been made since. Yet still the friendship 
of the world is enmity with God. Let us depend 
less upon the world and more upon God, winy is 
unchangeable, true, and good. 



WHO IS IN THE FA U L T ( 



195 



WHO IS IN THE FAULT I 

When persons differ, the enquiry is often made 
■ — Who is in the fault ! We answer: That person 
who is hardest to be won. The person who is 
not in the fault, is willing to have the matter 
investigated, and desires reconciliation ; but the 
offender is unwilling to be reconciled, because he 
knows he would have to acknowledge his fault, 
and not being willing to confess his fault, he will 
be the last to seek a reconciliation. We ought all 
to try ourselves by this rule when we are at variance 
with others. Some men think the offended oug lit 
always to wait until the offender acknowledges his 
fault, but the sentiment is not correct. Had God 
waited, when man offended, for him to acknowledge, 
no reconciliation would have been sought. Bui 
the offended God was first to seek friendship with 
offending man, and by His condescension, many 
have become reconciled to God ; goodness leadeth 
to repentance. We love Him because He first 
loved us. Christians must copy his example. 



196 



ON BUILDING CHURCHES. 



ON BUILDING CHURCHES. 

I have just returned to my charge, after an 
absence of six weeks ; during which time I visited 
several congregations and aided in the dedicational 
services of a new Church, at Elkton, Giles county, 
Tenn. The great Head of the Church seemed to 
approve the dedication : a seriousness prevailed 
amongst all the people, and some three or four 
professed religion during the occasion. The old 
saying is pretty true, we judge the state of the 
people by the state of the temple. Man is a religious 
being; all nations have their gods, and have built 
temples in which to worship their several divinities. 
In this land of Bibles we are taught to worship the 
true God, the God of the Bible; but, alas! how 
indifferent are many professed Christians and 
Christian ministers about the Lord's house. Some 
claiming to be Christians have no house at all, and 
others who have houses of worship, allow them to 
be so badly constructed and meanly kept, that the 
worshippers must have a gross idea of the God 
worshipped there. They have no sexton, but little 
light and less heat, and but few worshippers ; and 
some of them seem to love the creature more than 
the Creator. But notwithstanding there is so little 
attention among the people to Church building. 



ON CHURCH BUILDING. 



107 



Church keeping, and Church going, many of the 
preachers are more delinquent than the people. 
There are but too many preachers, and perhaps 
some of them growing old, who have never aided 
in building a house for God or even planting a 
Church. They are waiting for others to plant 
Churches, build houses and secure them a good 
salary ; and then they will water those congrega- 
tions and occupy those pulpits ready furnished to 
their hands. 

Will my brethren in the ministry suffer the word 
of exhortation 1 Let us turn our attention to the 
waste places of Zion as well as to the wilderness ; 
plant Churches, build and rebuild houses of wor- 
ship, and be faithful in our attention to them, and 
see what the Lord will do for us this year. Would 
every preacher in the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church plant one Church and build one meeting- 
house this year, there would be more than one 
.housand congregations organized and the same 
.lumber of Church houses built in our branch of 
Zion, in the year 1849, and more than double that 
number of souls saved. Brethren, let us try, let us 
begin the year with God and his cause, relying on 
his promises, and see if he will not pour us out 
such a blessing that there will not be room enough 
to contain it. 



198 



CHURCH BUSINESS. 



CHURCH BUSINESS. 

The fall sessions of the Presbytery is at hand ; 
much business ought to be attended to ; theologi- 
cal schools must be acted on and reported to the 
committee appointed by the last General Assembly 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. (See 
Minutes of the last Assembly.) Every Presbytery, 
according to the constitution of the Church, should 
have one or more missionaries constantly employed 
in its bounds ; and would it not be good policy 
for every Synod to have at least one missionary 
constantly employed in its bounds, to learn its 
destitutions, as well as to stir up its ministers and 
Churches to a faithful discharge of duty, and report 
the condition of the whole field, and secure laborers, 
if possible, to occupy the whole ground. 

This article is not designed to argue the impor- 
tance of such measures, but to bring the matter up 
before the Presbyteries ; though we could fill our 
mouth with arguments. 

Let every Presbytery call for volunteers to take 
the circuit, and if they cannot be had, draft a 
sufficient supply ; and let each Presbytery feel it 
must be done. This is the way we use<f to feel 
vvheti the work of God and the worth of souls lay 
near our hearts. We have a good constitution, 



CHURCH BUSINESS. 199 

providing for the Churches, both missionaries and 
pastors ; and we now have a Board of Foreign and 
Domestic Missions. Our system is good in its great 
outlines, and the business of the Church now is, 
to fill up those outlines by having efficient pastors, 
missionaries, and agents, to carry out the measures. 
No system, however good, will succeed well, unless 
there is efficiency to carry out the plan. And next, 
the people must help sustain and patronize pastors, 
circuit riders, and aid the agents of the Missionary 
Board. The people may be faulty in this matter 
and not patronize as they should, but the fault in 
fact, of their delinquency is the preacher's, because 
he does not teach them that the workman is worthy 
of his meat. Some preachers may teach the people 
they must support them because they are needy; 
but perhaps never touch the broad principle that 
the workman is worthy of his meat, that every man 
ought to be rewarded according to his own work. 
This is the principle the Judge of quick and dead 
will regard at the last day ; let us regard it in the 
Church. 

Brother Editor, as long smooth articles are 
seldom read, we hope this short one will be read 
by all, and that the judicatories of the Church will 
not let their doctrines and plan of operations be 
lost for want of energy. "A good foundation may 
be laid for a building, but through much weariness 
the building may decay, and through idleness of the 
bands, the house droppeth through." — Solomon. 



200 



CLAIMS OF THE 



Perhaps you may hear from me again on this 
subject ; we would be glad if an abler hand would 
take hold of this subject, whether the fault lies in 
the constitution or in the men into whose hands it 
has fallen, and who solemnly bound themselves to 
see the constitution and government of the Church 
carried out. 



CLAIMS OF THE DIFFERENT 
DENOMINATIONS. 

My attention has been called of late to the 
claims of different sectaries, claiming to be Chris- 
tians, who speak of themselves as the Church, 
and denounce all others as heretics. I have been 
led to examine their claims to such high authority, 
and I cannot see, either in their organization or 
character, anything that would justify such high 
claims. 

The first that I shall notice, claiming to be the 
Church of Christ, exclusively, is that sectary, 
called by some Christians, by others Reformers, 
and by others Campbellites. The distinctive pecu- 
liarity which constitutes them the Church, is the 
doctrine of baptism, by immersion, for the remission 
of sins. This method of salvation, they say, 
commenced on the clay of Pentecost, and ever 
since that day, no one can be saved without 



DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS. 



201 



immersion for the remission of sins; and only such 
as hold that doctrine, can claim to be the Church. 
The j do not say that this was always God's 
method of salvation, but only since the day of 
Pentecost. 

Now, I will set up the ark of God against this 
dogma: "To him give all the prophets witness, 
that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, 
shall receive remission of sins," Acts x, 43. God 
has revealed but one method of saving sinners, and 
that is by faith in Jesus Christ. The claims ot 
that people, therefore, who say they are the Church, 
is founded on a dangerous innovation ; but examine 
their Christian morality, their observance of the 
Sabbath, &c, and see if they have higher claims to 
the Church, than all others. 

The next that I shall notice is the Baptist 
denomination. They claim to be the Church, the 
only Church of Christ, on earth, and this claim is 
founded on believers being baptized by immersion ; 
and, although they denounce the Reformers as here- 
tics, and will not commune with them because they 
are not the Church, they denounce all others, who, 
notwithstanding they are orthodox in everything 
but the mode of baptism, as not being the Church. 
What, then, is the great distinguishing doctrine 
that gives them the right to call themselves the 
Church ? Is it not water baptism, by immersion I 
May we not here set up vhe ark of God beside this 
dogma !- Gal. vi, 15; " Fo&* ; n Christ Jesus, 



202 CLAIMS OF THE, ETC. 

neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncir- 
cuuicision, but a new creature/' 

Again : " the kingdom of God is not meat and 
drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the 
Holy Ghost." We ask whether their Christian 
morality gives them a greater right to be the 
Church? This, they do not claim, and others 
may not award it to them. 

The third denomination claiming to be the only 
Church of Christ on earth, is the Episcopalians; 
this claim is founded on Apostolic succession. They 
can trace their Church, by regular succession, to 
the Apostles; they are the Church, the only 
Church ; and they are more consistent than some 
others, who, while they claim to be the only 
Church, and will not commune with others, will, 
nevertheless, preach, sing, and pray with them. 
The Episcopalians will do neither. To co-operate 
with other Christians in religious worship, would 
be to acknowledge them as belonging to the only 
Church. Now, in running back to the Apostles, 
do they not contradict them 1 1 Cor. xiv, 34 : " Let 
ycur women keep silence in the Churches." Can 
it be a regular succession from the Apostles, to 
come down to us through a civil king or priest, 
whether religious or irreligious I Did not Elizabeth 
claim to direct the Church ? And did not Paul 
forbid women to control the Church ? 

But let us next inquire into the religious char- 
acter of that people, and learn whether their 



PERSECUTION, ETC. 



203 



Christian morality authorizes them to say, " Stand 
by thyself — we are more holy than thou." 

The fourth sectary I shall notice, claiming to be 
the only Church of Christ on earth, is the Roman 
Catholics. This caps the climax. Infallibility is 
professed by them; and they only have the keys 
of the Kingdom. These keys were given to Peter, 
by the Saviour, and handed down by him, to the 
middle of the 19th century. But Peter claimed no 
more than the other Apostles, the Elders, &c. He 
exhorts, but does not command. See 1 Pet. v, 1. 

But, in conclusion, what is the Christian morality 
of that Church ? Let its bloody history answer 
the question. 



PERSECUTION HAS CONTRIBUTED 
TO THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL. 

Acts viii, 1, 2, 3, 4 : "And Saul was consenting 
unto his death. And at that time there was a 
great persecution against the Church which was 
at Jerusalem : and they were all scattered abroad 
throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, 
except the Apostles. And devout men carried 
Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation 
over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the 
Church, entering into every house, and haling 



204 



PERSECUTION AND THE 



men and women, committed them to puis a%. 
Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went 
every where preaching the word." 

May the persecutions of the present time be 
followed with like effects. 

Ministers of the gospel are laborers with God. 

It is now time, high time, dear brethren in the 
ministry, to awake out of sleep ; and particularly 
preachers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 
A crisis has come up in the history of the world, 
and particularly in our Church, which calls for 
ministers that will not hold thm peace, day nor 
night; men who will lift Up their voice like a 
trumpet, and show the house of Israel their sins 
Brethren, we have a great work to do, and we 
ought to be prepared for it and at our work. 
Personal piety is called for at the present time, and 
without it, the preacher, though he had the tongue 
of an angel, can do but little, if any good. 

Secondly — He must be consecrated to his work : 
he must feel himself not his own, and must be 
entirely devoted to the work of the Lord ; both as 
Pastor and Missionary. 

The Lord Jesus, the Captain of our Salvation, 
calls to arms! — to the field of battle ! 

" To arms ! — to arms ! — I hear him cry ! 
'Tis yours to conquer or to die.'"' 

To those who have no stated charges let me 
say, Can you not take the field this year, and 



SPIvEaD Of THE GOSPEL 



205 



travel through the Churches, two and two, and 
hold protracted meetings in the most needy places 
— cities, towns, villages, and country places. We 
need not expect the Church to arise and shake 
herself from the dust, until her ministers get up 
into the high mountains, and their voices are 
heard. " Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make 
the paths straight." 

It is the preacher's duty, instrumentally, to 
enlighten and warm the Church ; the Church 
needs to be enlightened in the duty of prayer, and 
in the duty of supporting the Gospel ; but the 
preacher must not sit still until the people awake. 
He must tell them their duty by doing his own. 
We will never see better times until the watchmen 
are awake, and crying aloud — not regarding their 
lives — to supply the great lack of service in the 
Church. 

My brethren in the ministry, bear with me ; an 
old man feels great interest for the present genera- 
tion, as well as for every one that is to come. Can 
ne sit still while he can move a muscle ; or has a 
soul to see and feel the destitutions of Zion 1 Can 
he fold his hands in view of her troubles ? He 
cannot — but must exclaim in the language of good 
Jeremiah, " Oh ! that my head were water, and 
mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep 
day and night for the slain of the daughter of my 
people." Oh ! if he could see all his younger 
brethren out ia the field, and the Church sustaining 



206 PERSECUTION, ETC. 

them in their labor, he could rejoice! for he would 
believe God would again revive his work; and 
then, like an old Simeon, he would say, " Let thy 
servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen thy 
salvation.'' 

Oh ! it is important we should feel the worth 
of souls, and the word of the Lord like fire shut up 
in our bones. Bear with me, my brethren, the 
love of Christ constraineth me; his benevolence 
should move us to feel and act, and to devote our 
lives to his service. 

I heard a preacher say once, that he never 
lacked, when he was devoted to the Lord's work. 
If the people will not do their duty, the blessing 
will return into your own bosoms. God will not 
send you a warfare at your own charges ; He will 
provide, whether the people will feed you or not. 
But the people will sustain you ; and many, who 
are not members of the Church, will help you, 
when they see you devoted to the Lord's work. 

We should awake, for the Kingdom of Heaven 
is at hand! There is a better day coming, and it 
is not far distant ! Let us not " be weary in well 
doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint 
not." 

" The reaping time will surely come, 
And angels shout the harvest home." 



BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATION. 



207 



BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATION. 

ROMANS XII. 12. 

On this subject I wish to offer a few thoughts, 
it is designed for practical use. 

For a Christian to be cairn and serene on a 
smooth surface, is no great evidence of superior 
attaintments ; but to be patient in trouble, calm on 
a rough sea and unshaken in the storm, evinces 
superior attainments in the Christian graces. This 
is a troublesome world, and he who would pass 
through it comfortably, must be patient. Patience, 
as explained by one, is that calm and unruffled 
temper with which a good man bears the evils of 
life. It may be supposed that it only belongs 
to the afflicted to exercise patience ; but neither 
health nor prosperity can be enjoyed without it. 
Patience is, as all other graces are, of an humble 
character; but does not alone belong to humble 
life : it belongs to the most dignified and the most 
exalted station ; it is essential to our happiness in 
every condition in life. 

While the Christian is in this world, he has 
trouble on every hand ; without are fightings, within 
are fears; the world, the flesh, and the devil, are 
all combined against him. The devil will try us 
by presumption and despair; the world will try us 
by wealth, honor, and pleasure; the flesh will try 



208 BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATION. 

us by the pleasures of the eve and the pride of life-, 
it seems to be a part of the Christian's legacy in 
the present world — they who enter heaven do it 
through great tribulation. As therefore the Chris- 
tian must have tribulation, he ought to arm himself 
with the whole armor of God, that he may be able 
to stand against all the wiles of the devil; but let 
him be armed as he may, he must let patience have 
her perfect work. As we must have trouble in the 
present world, and patience is essential to our 
happiness, we will offer a few arguments to excite 
the Christian to be patient in tribulation. 

And 1st. He should be patient in tribulation, 
because God has enjoined it in his word ; had he 
not considered it necessary to our happiness in the 
present world, he would not have required it. 

2nd. God himself is a God of patience: see 
Rom. xv. 5. If God, in the management of his 
afTairs, exercises patience, we should be patient. 

3rd. The example of Christ ; and the most pious 
men in the world were patient. The Saviour was 
patient — he opened not his mouth ; when reviled 
he reviled not again: the prophet Isaiah describes 
him thus — "We shall not fail nor be discouraged 
until he set judgment in the earth." You have 
heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end 
of the Lord, in permitting his afflictions, &c. 

4th. The circumstances of life require patience ; 
we need the exercise of patience from others 
toward us ; and we must exercise patience towards 



BE PATIENT IN TRIBULATION. 203 



others. " Patience," says Mr. Jay, " must be 
displayed under provocations: our opinions, repu 
tations, connections, offices, and business, render 115. 
widely vulnerable. The characters of men are 
various; their pursuits and interests perpetually 
clash. Some try us by their ignorance, some by 
their folly, some by their perverseness, some by their 
malice. Here then is an opportunity for the triumph 
of patience. We are very susceptive of irritation ; 
anger is eloquent, revenge is sweet ; but to stand 
calm and collected, to suspend the blow which 
passion was urgent to strike, to drive the reasons 
of clemency as far as they will go, to bring forward 
fairly in view, the circumstances of mitigation, 
to distinguish between surprise and deliberation, 
infirmity and crime ; or, if infliction be deemed 
necessary, to leave God to be both judge and 
executioner. This a Christian should labor after." 
" He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding; 
but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly." 

5th. We should be patient in trouble, for pa- 
tience worketh experience, and experience hope, 
and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy 
Ghost. 

Patience in trouble will renew our strength ; 
the working hand is the strong hand ; the deep- 
rooted tree is the one that has had its top shaken 
oftenest and hardest ; the most skillful mariner has 
sailed on the roughest seas. It is given to the 



21G 



REVIVALS. 



Christian, not only to believe in Christ, but also 
to suffer for his sake; and present sufferings for 
Christ's sake, peaceably borne, will work for us a 
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 
If patience under suffering will promote our eternal 
happiness, then let the Christian be patient in 
tribulation. 



REVIVALS.— GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 

After long seeming neglect, I send you this 
epistle. I have had but little opportunity of 
writing, for months past; have been visiting the 
Churches to see how they do, and have but 
seldom preached twice in the same congregation. 
Although I have been pretty constantly at work 
in the Lord's vineyard, little fruit yet appears; 
but the plowman plows in hope, and finally is a 
partaker of his hope : so we ought to labor in the 
Lord's field, and, by the blessing of God, will reap 
the fruit of our labor. 

I learn from the Banner and other sources, that 
many changes have taken place in Lebanon, since 
I left; some citizens, devoted to the interests of 
Zion, have been carried by angels to Abraham's 
bosom ; and others are waiting the signal to fly 
away and be at rest. A revival has been realized 



GENERAL ASSEMBLY. 



21 L 



again, in our dear Lebanon ; many have been 
brought from darkness to light, from the power 
of Satan to God ; many, whose names have been 
inscribed in the family record, are now enrolled in 
the Lamb's book of life, which will be read at the 
last day, the day of judgment. 

Much good seed has been sown in Lebanon ; 
have tares sprung up ? An enemy hath done this. 
Are some good people ready to pull up the tares 1 
Let both grow together till the harvest ; let angels, 
by the direction of the Head of the Church, gather 
them together to be burned, and gather the wheat 
into the garner. Unskillful hands and unsanctified 
hearts, are not prepared to pull up even the tares ; 
they do not know the heart, and might pull up 
the true saint. Judge nothing before the time. 
Religious excitement requires divine skill to direct. 
Uzza's hand touching the ark, may displease 
the Lord. Troubled water requires a skillful 
pilot. May the excitement at Lebanon, of whatever 
kind settle down in a calm of love to God and 
man. 

Although I was not at the last General Assembly 
of our Church, yet I was pleased to read its journals. 
The Report of the Board of Missions greatly 
interested me; and although its doings may seem 
like a very small pebble thrown into the sea, its 
little waves may increase, and reach the distant 
shore. May many hearts be stirred up to sustain 
the cause of missions. 



212 



REVIVALS. 



The Board of Publication is destined, under the 
blessing of God, to preach Christ to every family. 
May it always have warm, practical friends. 

Theological institutions interested the Assembly, 
and the subject was discussed ; and although but 
little was done, yet that little stone may become 
a mountain, and all our ministers may have an 
opportunity of theological as well as literary training. 
The door is now open, and the way prepared 
to take action on a very important point, the 
endowment. 

Brother Cossitt, I wrote you and other brethren, 
during the sitting of the Assembly, but my letters 
did not reach in time, on another subject ; which 
has interested me, and on which I would have 
b^Ten glad ifthe Assembly had taken some favorable 
action. The celebration of the Semi-Centennial 
Anniversary of the great revival of 1800, which 
gave birth to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 
(an American Church, a revival Church) and which 
also gave rise to many valuable institutions; and 
since which time many have gone forth, and 
knowledge has increased. This subject may be 
acted on at the next Assembly, but it should be 
thought of, and prayed over, before hand. I would 
be pleased, could the Celebration be on the day the 
meeting commenced, when the work developed 
itself so powerfully. 

Will our Assembly, at its next meeting, which 
will be not far from where the revival commenced, 



C HRISTIAN F E 

recommend that protracted 
held in all our Churches, at 
with fasting and prayer \ 



LLO SHIP. 213 

or camp meetings be 
that time, commencing 



CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. 

Jesus Christ has promised, that where two or 
three are gathered together in his name, he will be 
in the midst of them. 

Now, if two or three Christians, and members 
of a Church, are thrown together in the same 
neighborhood, town, or city, ought they not to 
unite together, in some religious form, to promote 
their own spiritual interest, and the interest of the 
Church ; and command all the means in their 
power to promote the Saviour's cause 1 and where 
can two or three be thrown together in this world, 
without some means, and sufficient means, to 
promote their own good, and the good of others, 
if they would only use those means? Can they 
not meet, and speak one to another 1 Can they 
not pray and sing together 1 Can they not have 
Sabbath Schools ; and, if they have no preacher, 
can they not try to get one 1 And can they not 
exhort one another ; and, if they use all the means 
in their power, cannot two or three build up a 
Church ? And will not Christ be in the midst 



2J4 



CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP. 



of them, and bless them; and as they prosper, 
can they not build a good house of worship I 
And can they not secure, and sustain, a pastor or 
missionary ? And when they are all at work, and 
always at work, working with God, and working 
with one another, can such a Church die? The 
candle-stick has never been removed, except from 
the negligent and slothful ! 

By religious industry and economy, they will 
secure the confidence and. aid of others; but who 
can have confidence ; and who will aid a few or 
many, when they will not help themselves, and 
take care of what aid is afforded them 1 And are 
not two or three, or a large congregation criminal, 
who have means at hand, and will not command 
or use the means to sustain themselves and build 
up the Church. 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH 

OF TH 3 

CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 



In giving a succinct account of the origin and progress 
of this infant branch of Zion, I will observe, in the first 
place, that the revival of religion in the Presbyterian 
Church, out of which Cumberland Presbyterians sprang, 
was brought about by the ordinary means, though used in 
\n extraordinary way. 

The Rev. James jVTGkeady,* with a few other individuals 
of Logan County, Kentucky, near the close of the last 
century, began, like the remnant of Israel in the days of 
Ahab, to mourn over the desolations of Zion. ^At length 
they drew up, and adopted, the following preamble and 
covenant : — 

" When we consider the word and promises of a 
compassionate God, to the poor lost family of Adam, we 
find the strongest encouragement for Christians to pray in 
faith — to ask, in the name of Jesus, for the conversion of 



*It was under the preaching of this venerable Father in Israel, that 
the work of God first appeared in Kentucky. 



216 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

their fellow men. None ever went to Christ when on 
earth, with the case of their friends, that were denied; 
and, although the days of his humiliation are ended, yet, 
for the encouragement of his people, he has left it on 
record, that where two or three agree, upon earth, to ask 
in prayer, believing, it shall be done. Again : whatsoever 
you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do, that 
the Father may be glorified in the Son. With these promises 
before us, we feel encouraged to unite our supplications to 
a prayer-hearing God, for the outpouring of his spirit, that 
his people may be quickened and comforted, and that 
our children, and sinners generally, may be converted. 
Therefore, we bind ourselves to observe the third Saturday 
of each month, for one year, as a day of fasting and 
prayer, for the conversion of sinners in Logan County and 
throughout the world. We also engage to spend one 
half hour every Saturday evening, beginning at the setting 
of the sun, and one half hour every Sabbath morning, at 
the rising of the sun, in pleading with God to revive his 
work." 

The Great Head of the Church evidently owned and 
blessed this extraordinary effort, and soon commenced 
a powerful revival of religion, in the bounds of the 
Transylvania Presbytery. This Presbytery was divided 
in 1802, by the Synod of Kentucky, and the Cumberland 
Presbytery formed, including most of the preachers that 
had been active in promoting the revival, and embracing 
many of the societies that had been converted and organized 
after the revival commenced. The measures adopted for 
the purpose of perpetuating and extending this glorious 
work of God, and for the purpose of supplying newly- 
organized congregations with preaching, soon incurred the 
displeasure of the Synod, which will appear in the following 
letter : — 



BRIEF HIST O ft ICAL SKETCH. 217 



CIRCULAR LETTER, 

Addressed to the Societies and Brethren of the Presby- 
terian Church, recently under the care of the Council , 
by the late Cumberland Presbytery ; in which there 
is a correct statement of the origin^ progress, and 
termination, of the difference between the Synod of 
Kentucky, and the former Presbytery of Cumberland. 

Dear Brethren — The time is at last come, when we 
must either sacrifice our religious liberties and conscience, 
to what we judge unreasonable demands, cease our 
endeavors to promote the work of God among you, as we 
have hitherto done, or constitute a Presbytery separate 
from the Synod of Kentucky. We choose the latter as 
the only alternative, in which we can have the answer 
of a good conscience. We therefore deem it expedient to 
give you a retrospective view of the cause, together with 
the progressive means, by which matters have been brought 
to this issue. 

A number of you will easily recollect, that about the 

close of the last century, or beginning of the present, 

God, in a very remarkable manner, began to revive his 

work amongst the inhabitants of this western country. 

The first symptoms of which, appeared under the ministerial 

labors of the Rev. James M'Gready, in Logan County. 

At the first commencement of this glorious revival, as 

also in its progress, the bodily affections and exercises 

of a number of those who were its subjects, were very 

uncommon. This soon caused a rumor to go abroad, and 

the people from every quarter come out to see. The 

consequence of which was, they not only had their curiosity 

satisfied, but a great number had their hearts deeply 

affected. This, in the hand of God, was a blessed means 
19 



218 BRIEF HIS T O R I C A L SKETCH. 

of spreading the work through various parts of our country. 
For a while, at first, all the ministers in our bounds, seemed 
to participate in the glorious effusion of the Holy Spirit, 
and correspondent to this, proclaimed themselves friends 
to the revival. But, alas! it was soon after discoverable, 
that some of them had changed their opinion, otherwise 
they had never been well established. The consequence 
of this apparent change may easily be inferred ; notwith- 
standing the work still progressed. And although the few 
who remained friends to the revival, labored in the work 
of the ministry night and day, yet the cries of the people 
for more preaching were incessant ; and those cries soon 
became so general, that they were heard from many parts 
of an extensive frontier. The ministers, in return, could 
only pity, and pray for them ; the congregations being so 
numerous, and in such a scattered situation, that they 
could not, by any possible endeavor, supply them. 

About this time, a venerable father in the ministry,* 
who was then resident in one of the upper counties of 
Kentucky, came down and attended a communion with 
some of our preachers in a vacant congregation : and he, 
having learned the situation of our country, and the 
pressing demand that there was for more preaching, 
proposed the plan of encouraging such amongst us, as 
appeared to be men of good talents, and who also 
discovered a disposition to exercise their gifts in a public 
way, to preach the gospel, although they might not have 
acquired that degree of human education, which the letter 
of discipline requires. This proposition was truly pleasing 
to our preachers ; and, indeed, it found general acceptance 
amongst the people, as soon as intimations thereof were 
given. The consequence was, an uncommon spirit of 



* Rev. jMv'f d Rice 



BR1 Ef HISTORICAL SKETCH 



219 



prayer now seemed to prevail throughout the societies, 
that the great Head of the Church would, not only open 
an effectual door into the ministry, but also that he would 
raise up. qualify, and bring men into that sacred office, 
whose, labors he would own and bless. And. brethren » 
that God who never told Israel to seek him in vain, 
evidently heard and answered the prayers of Ins people. 
Some, whose minds had been previously impressed with 
the duty of calling sinners to repentance, and of bearing 
public testimony to the work of God and the religion of 
Jesus Christ, and upon whom, also, the eyes of the Church, 
for some time, had been fixed with a degree of expecta- 
tion, now made their exercise of mind on this subject, 
known to their Fathers in the ministry. The prospect 
was trul v pleasing to the preachers, yet they considered 
it expedient to act with the greatest caution : for although 
the step about to be taken, was not unprecedented in the 
Presbyterian Church, yet. seeing i: was out of the common 
track, they were well aware, that some of their brethren 
in the ministry would oppose the measure. However, 
thev ventured to encourage three or four of the young- 
men to prepare written discourses, and present them to 
the Transylvania Presbytery as a specimen of their 
abilities. They accordingly prepared discourses, and at 
the next stated session of said Presbytery, their case was 
brought before that reverend body. They met with warm 
opposition, arising principally, however, from a quarter 
rather inimical to the revival. But after a lengthy con- 
versation on the subject, in which there was much alterca- 
tion, a majority of the members consented and agreed, 
that the young men might be permitted to read their dis- 
courses to an aged member alone, who should make report 
to the Judicature. We believe the report was favorable. 
It was then directed, as well as we can recollect, that 



220 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

those men should prepare other discourses to be read at the 
next Presbytery. They accordingly prepared, and three 
of them attended ; but, as soon as the subject of their case 
was resumed, a warm debate ensued. At length, however, 
a majority of the members agreed to hear their discourses. 
After they were read, the question was put : " Shall these 
men be received as candidates for the ministry ?" The 
vote being taken, one of the three was received, and two 
rejected by a majority of one vote only. This circumstance 
much depressed the spirits of a number of the preachers, who 
were real friends to the revival, and likewise the congrega- 
tions generally, who had so earnestly desired their licensure, 
but more especially the spirits of those two candidates were 
depressed. They were men in a matrimonial state, and 
could not consistently with those relative duties, by which 
they were bound to their families, go and acquire the 
knowledge of all those forms of literature required by the 
book of discipline. Fain would they have returned home, 
and solaced themselves in the enjoyment of their domestic 
comforts, as private Christians, if they could have done so, 
and kept a good conscience : but this they could not do ; 
nor could they with clearness become members of any 
other Christian society, where the ministerial door was not 
so strait and difficult, and consequently, where they 
might have been at liberty to exercise their popular talents 
with approbation. No : they were attached to all the 
essential doctrines, and likewise the discipline of the Pres- 
byterian Church. It was in this Church they were early 
dedicated to God by their parents, and in this Church 
they first felt the power of the gospel upon their hearts, 
and tasted the sweetness of that grace, which brings salva- 
tion to man. Therefore in the communion of this Church 
they earnestly desired to live and die. 

By this time a number of others, who were generally 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



221 



esteemed eminent for gifts and piety, together with those 
who had already offered as candidates, became solemnly 
impressed to proclaim the word of life and salvation to 
sinners. But alas ! the door of admittance seemed to be 
shut against them. 

In this dark state of matters, both the ministers them- 
selves, and likewise the candidates who had already offered, 
and others who were looking forward towards the ministry, 
together with all the societies in our bounds, began now, 
in good earnest, to realize the necessity of crying mightily 
to that God, who has Church judicatures in his hands, as 
well as the hearts of individuals. In the meantime, 
candidates, and other eminent characters, who were 
assiduously endeavoring in one way or another to promote 
the work of God, were encouraged by their fathers in the 
ministry to continue to their gifts in a way of public 
exhortation, which several of them did, laboring much till 
the next Presbytery, at which time several petitions were 
presented with hundreds of signatures, praying the 
Presbytery to license and send to their relief certain 
denominated persons. The subject was again taken into 
consideration, after which the Presbytery that was per- 
sonally acquainted with those men embraced in the petitions, 
knowing their piety, soundness in the faith, aptness to 
teach, fic. 9 and taking into view the situation of the 
congregations, and the extraordinary demand for preach- 
ing, determined to hear trial sermons from three or four 
of them (at the then present session) to be considered as 
popular discourses, which accordingly were delivered, and 
sustained by a large majority of the judicature. And after 
an examination on various subjects, touching the ministry, 
which was also sustained, they were "licensed to preach the 
gospel within the bounds of the Transylvania Presbytery, 
or wherever else, God in his providence, might call them/' 



222 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

Certain members who had always been opposed to the 
measure, entered their protest against the proceedings of 
the majority. But the majority were not deterred thereby, 
from pursuing in their official capacity, that method which 
they conscientiously believed best calculated to promote 
the Redeemer's kingdom in the world. 

The Synod, not long after this, divided the Transylvania 
Presbytery, and formed what was called the Cumberland 
Presbytery, the bounds of which included all the members 
that attended the preceding session of the Transylvania 
Presbytery. This act gave a decided majority m the new 
Presbytery to the promoters of the revival, and those who 
were friendly to the licensure of the aforementioned young 
men ; which majority ever after continued and increased 
until the Presbytery was dissolved. 

The licensing of these men, on the petition of the con- 
gregations, seemed to be a mean in God's hand of increasing 
instead of decreasing, the demand for supplies. They, 
(the preachers) laboring both night and dag, leaving their 
families for a considerable length of time, preaching the 
word, planting new societies, and watering those that were 
planted, would necessarily increase such demand, if attend- 
ed with divine influence. And, brethren, we need only 
appeal to many of you, to witness the success that evidently 
attended those men's labors. The feeling and experience 
of your own hearts are better evidences to you on that 
subject, than all the reasons that could be advanced. 
Though you may have ten thousand instructors, yet you 
have not many fathers in Christ. 

The Presbytery, in pursuing what they believed to be 
their duty, continued from time to time to license and 
ordain such men, both learned and unlearned, (what is 
meant by unlearned here, is not a want of common English 
education,") as thej T thought would be useful laborers in the 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



223 



vineyard of the Lord. And, if the old maxim be a good 
one, ("judge of causes by their effects,") the Presbytery 
will never have just cause to regret that they engaged in, 
and pursued such measures : for it is an incontestible fact, 
judging by our Lord's rule, (By their fruit ye shall know 
them,') that there are multitudes of both men and women 
who will have cause to rejoice eternally that ever they 
heard those men preach a crucified Christ. 

The members who entered their protest, sent a petition 
to the next session of Synod, referring them to the protest, 
" w r hich they thought should have operated as an appeal," 
in which they complained of various irregularities in the 
Cumberland Presbytery with respect to the licensure and 
ordination of men to the ministry. The Synod at that time 
did or said but little about the matter ; but, at their 
succeeding session, they appointed a Commission of Synod 
to meet shortly afterwards in the bounds of the Cumberland 
Presbytery at Gasper river, and directed certain members 
of the Commission to cite previously to that meeting, all 
our preachers, licentiates, candidates and public exhorters,* 
who generally met in obedience to the citation. 

We would observe here, brethren, that although the 
appointment of the Commission was, w T e hope, well intended, 
yet we believe it was unhappily selected as to a part of it, 
from what appeared in the prosecution of their mission. A 
number of that body, however, both preachers and elders, 
were meek and friendly disposed men, who felt themselves 
as brethren, disposed to pursue the most pacific measures, 

* There was much noise about so many exhorters having been authorized 
by the Presbytery. The members thought with the apostle, that it was the 
dutv and privilege of all Christians to exhort in some manner ; and the 
design they had in licensing such as made application was to give them more 
weight among the people, without the most distant prospect of licensing 
them to preach, exc. pt those whose talents might justify such an act. 



224 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



according to their order from the stated Synod to heal tho 
breach that threatened the Church. But on the contrary 
it is notorious, that another part of that body were men of 
different tempers ; and it was an unfortunate circumstance 
that those men were the most forward influential members. 

After the Commission had met, and also the accused, 
who were then known as the majority of the Cumberland 
Presbytery, the Commission selected from the minutes, 
and other sources, a number of irregularities, as chargeable 
against the majority of the Presbytery, all of which, how 
ever, were comprised in the two following particulars, viz • 
1st. The licensing of unlearned men, or such as had not 
been examined on the learned languages, &c. 2nd. That 
those men, who were licensed, both learned and unlearned, 
were only required to adopt the Confession of Faith partially, 
that is as far as they believed it to agree with the word of 
God. 

As to the first ground of complaint, the Presbytery not 
only plead the exception made in the discipline in extra- 
ordinary cases, but also the example of a number of the 
Presbyteries in different parts of the United States.* They 

* Among the many instances of this kind that might be mentioned, are the 
following, viz: Mr. Beck who was received by the Presbytery in North 
Carolina — Mr. Bloodworth by Orange — Mr. Moore by Hanover — Mr. Marquis 
by Redstone, and Mr. Kemper and Abell by the Transylvania Presbytery. 
Likewise, in Pennsylvania many years ago, a poor illiterate man, a nativ8 
of Wales, conceiving that he had an internal call to preach the gospel, made 
his case known to the Presbytery. But because he was not sufficiently 
acquainted with the English language to undergo an examination in it, or 
in any other but his mother tongue, the Presbytery therefore, instead of 
treating him without notice, sent to Virginia for President Davis, who was 
also a native of Wales, to perform the necessary examination previous to 
licensure, who on his return to Virginia, declared that he never had assisted 
in bringing a man into the ministry with greater freedom in his life. 

In short, the majority of Cumberland Presbytery, were of opinion, that the 
compilers of the Confession of Faith and discipline of our Church, never 
intended the rules there laid down for examination and trial of candidates 
for the ministry, to be considered an infallible standard by which the Holr 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



225 



moreover appealed to a higher authority than either of the 
foregoing, which was the new testament, and inquired if 
there was any precept or example in that, which condemned 
the practice of licensing what they (the Commission) called 
unlearned men to preach the gospel. It was likewise 
asked, if God could not as easily call a Presbyterian to 
preach, who had not a liberal education, as he could a 
Methodist or Baptist, a number of whom are acknowledged 
to be respectable and useful ministers of Jesus Christ. 

As to the second point, the Synod had suggested that 
the candidates could have adopted the "Alkoran," in the 
same manner they adopted the Confession of Faith. This 
was acknowledged to be literally true, but not applicable in 
the case of the young men ; for the Presbytery contended 
that the very act of the candidates receiving the Confes- 
sion at all, was an evidence that they esteemed it above all 
human creeds ; and the exception, or condition, in which 
they were indulged, was only designed to meet some 
conscientious scruples, in points not fundamental nor 
essential, particularly the idea of fatality, that seemed 
to some of tliem to be there taught under the high and 
mysterious doctrine of predestination. 

The reasons offered by the Presbytery, on these points, 
did not appear satisfactory to the Commission of Synod : 
therefore, much altercation took place, during which time, 
no doubt, Christ was wounded in the house of his friends, 
by some, perhaps, of both judicatures. It is well recollected 
at any rate, that the Presbytery during the debate, were 

Ghost must be limited, when he calls men to that sacred office. They had 
no doubt bat that reverend body, at the same time that they laid down those 
prudential rules, believed that the great Head of the Church could, and 
actually did, when he thought proper, bring men into the minis'ry without 
the aid of those literary qualifications: and if granted that he might in one 
instance, why not in more ; yea, why not in many. Who will limit the Holy 
one of Israel ? 



226 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



often reminded by certain members of the Commission, 
that they they stood at the Commissioner's bar ! Indeed, 
brethren, it appeared to us very evident, that some of the 
leading members of that body, assumed attitudes and an 
authority, which but illy comported with the character 
of ministers of the meek and lowly Jesus sent on a pacific 
mission. 

After much reasoning, as well as positive assertion on 
the subject, the Commission demanded of the Presbytery, 
to give up to them all those men whom they had licensed 
and ordained, for re-examination. The Presbytery refused, 
suggesting the danger of the example, and also that such a 
demand was without precedent. They moreover declared, 
that they believed the discipline of the Presbyterian Church 
had vested the sole power in the several Presbyteries, to 
judge of the faith and qualifications of their own candidates 
for the ministry.* 

After the refusal of the Presbytery, the Moderator of 
the Commission, proceeded to abjure the young men to sub- 
mit to their authority and be re-examined, when one of them 
asked liberty for himself and brethren to retire, and ask 
counsel of God before they would give an answer. This 
reasonable request was, at first, strongly opposed by one 
or two leading members of the Commission, but at length it 
was granted, and the young men retired to ask counsel of 
HIM who is all wise. In a short time after they returned, 
when they were asked, individually, if they would submit 
as above. They all, except one or two, who wanted longer 
time to deliberate, answered in the negative, for the folio w- 



*On the principle of the Commission's demand, no Presbytery would know 
when there was an addition made to their body by a new ordination, in as 
much as the next Synod might demand a re-examination of the newly 
ordained minister, judge him unqualified, and declare he should no longer 

preach as a Presbyterian- 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 227 

ing reasons, viz : First They believed the Cumberland 
Presbytery, which was a regular Church Judicature, to be 
competent judges of the faith and abilities of their own 
candidates. Secondly. That they themselves had not been 
charged with heresy and immorality, and, if they had, the 
Presbytery would have been the proper Judicature first to 
have called them to an account. Notwithstanding, the 
Commission of Synod proceeded formally to prohibit all the 
men, learned and unlearned, whom the Cumberland Pres- 
bytery had licensed and ordained, from preaching the 
gospel in the name of Presbyterians, and also cited what 
was called the old members to attend the next stated session 
of Synod, to be examined on faith, and to answer for not 
having given up their young brethren to be re-examined ! 

Here, brethren, we would ask, knowing that a number 
of you have been thirty or forty years regular members of 
the Presbyterian Church, if ever you knew an instance, 
either in Europe or America, of a Synod undertaking to 
prohibit preachers, who had not been accused by their own 
or any other Presbytery ? We would also ask, if ever 
you knew an instance of any reformed Church Judicature 
silencing a minister or ministers, who had not been charged 
with heresy, immorality, nor even what our discipline calls 
contumacy ? This was certainly the case with the young 
men. That is, they were not charged with either of the 
above, yet they were prohibited and the Presbytery cen- 
sured, because they would not acknowledge the authority 
by which it was done. 

The members of Presbytery then retired (but not in a 
Presbyterial capacity) to consult what was best to be done, 
j and after deliberation, they agreed to encourage the young 
i men to continue the exercise of their respective functions, 
| which they themselves determined to do, except in such 
business as required the act of a Presbytery. 



228 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

Some months after, there was a general meeting or 
council held at Shilo, consisting of the ministers, elders, | 
and representatives, from vacancies which formerly com- j 
posed a majority of Cumberland Presbytery. At that j 
council, it was agreed on to petition the General Assembly; 
and in the mean time, cease our operations as a Presbytery I 
but continue to meet from time to time in the capacity of I 
a council, and promote the interests of the Church as well j 
as we could, until an answer could be obtained from the 
Assembly. The council, at this meeting, unanimously 
declared it to be their opinion, that the Commission of 
Synod had acted contrary to discipline, which opinion was 
corroborated by the next Assembly, (though not officially) 
according to a private letter from a respectable member of 
that body, a part of which is as follows : 

" The unhappy differences in your quarter, so immediately 
succeeding what a great proportion of the Presbyterian 
interest in this place, believed to be a great revival of the 
work of God, has excited deep concern, and our General 
Assembly have had the matter fully before them. It 
appeared to be the decided opinion of the majority in the 
General Assembly, that no Synod had a right to proceed 
against ministers or individuals, except the matter shall 
have come before them, by appeal from the Presbytery. 
That only a Presbytery could call its members to account 
for errors in doctrine or practice. — That a man once 
ordained by a Presbytery is an ordained minister, though 
the Presbytery may have acted improperly in not requiring 
the due qualifications ; and that even a Presbytery could 
not afterwards depose, but for cause arising, or madepublic 
after ordination ; that licentiates are always in the power 
of the Presbytery to examine them and to withdraw their 
licensure at discretion ; but, that a Synod may act against 
a Presbytery as such, by dissolving, dividing, censuring, 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



229 



&c, consequently, that the dealings with the Cumberland 
Prebytery were legal, in dissolving them, and annexing 
them to Transylvania, but wholly improper in suspending 
ordained ministers, and still more improper was it, for a 
Commission of Synod to do it. But though the rule about 
knowledge of languages in our discipline is not often fully 
complied with, and though the rule is not found m the 
scriptures, yet it is so important, that though your case 
was an imperious one, yet they seemed to fear you had 
gone too far, especially in the licensures. But what the 
General Assembly hath finally done, will appear very 
inconclusive on these points ; because they wished to avoid 
offending the Synod and the Presbytery ; and the minority 
in the Assembly took advantage of this, to make the 
business end as much as possible in such a manner as not 
to be construed against the power of Synods and General 
Assemblies. The General Assembly have, however, 
questioned the regularity of the proceedings of your 
Synod." 

You may see, brethren, in the foregoing extracts, what 
w r as the decided opinion of what may be called the collected 
wisdom of the Presbyterian Church in the United Ststes on 
the points for which we contend. And, perhaps, in exam- 
ining the list of Commissioners who composed the Assembly, 
the members will be found to stand as high for learning, 
integrity, and piety, as a subsequent Assembly, which 
differed with them in opinion. You will moreover see the 
reason why we were not profited by the favorable opinion 
of the Assembly. As to the Assembly's fearing we had 
' gone too far in the licensures,' we will not pretend to say 
their fears were altogether without foundation ; neverthe- 
less, the Presbytery that have been without sin on this 
a ibjecfc, 'may cast the first stone.' — That is, the Presbytery 
that have licensed as many as the Cumberland Presbytery 



230 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

have done, and have licensed no improper person to preach 
the gospel.* 

The Assembly addressed a letter to the Synod informing 
them, that what they had done 'was at least of questionable 
regularity/ and requested them to review their proceed- 
ings, and rectify what might have been done amiss. The 
Synod, we understood, reviewed but confirmed all their 
Commission had done. The council, notwithstanding, 
were encouraged to forward another petition, after which 
they were informed by a private letter, from another 
influential member of the Assembly, that it would be most 
proper for them to apply to the Synod to rescind their 
former order, as it respected the Presbytery ; and if they 
refused, then for the council to appeal to the Assembly, 
which ' no doubt would redress their grievances.' The 
official letter of that Assembly, not having come to hand, 
the council thought it prudent to postpone doing any thing 
in it, until such letter could be seen. After it was seen, a 
number of the members of council thought the prospect of 
a redress of grievances not nattering ; and at the next 
council it was voted by a large majority to go into a 
constituted state, and in that capacity, address the General 
Assembly ; but by reason of the minority refusing to 
acquiesce in what the majority had done, the council did 
not still constitute a Presbytery. After some time, some of 
those who were of the majority, felt willing to comply w r ith 
the recommendation of the member who wrote to us, and 
told us to go up by appeal from the Synod, but before there 
■was an opportunity of doing it, we heard to our astonish- 
ment, that the Assembly had decided in favor of the Synod. 



*The Cumberland Presbytery bave reason to tbank God, tbat every man 
whom they licensed, except one individual, continues to believe, preach, and 
practice the gospel ol' Christ. 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 231 

This step at once superseded the necessity of an appeal ; 
therefore, the council generally thought it was now time 
to constitute into a Presbytery, and proceed to business 
again in that capacity. But some of the members wished 
to make the last effort with the Synod, which now had the 
business in their own hands, and the whole agreed at the 
Ridge Meeting House in August last, to propose their last 
terms, and forward them to the Transylvania Presbytery, 
or Synod, by two Commissioners to be appointed for that 
purpose, which was accordingly done, and the terms in 
substance were as follows : 

" We, the preachers belonging to the Council, both old 
and young, from a sincere desire to be in union with the 
general body of the Presbyterian Church, are willing to be 
examined on the tenets of our holy religion, by the Tran- 
sylvania Presbytery, Synod, or a committee appointed for 
that purpose ; taking along the idea, however, that we be 
received or rejected as a connected body. Also, all our 
ministers, ordained and licentiates, retain their former 
authority derived from the Cumberland Presbytery. It 
was, moreover, understood that if the Synod should 
require the preachers to re-adopt the Confession of Faith 
that it should be with the exception of fatality only." 
Our commissioners were directed to go, and take a copy 
of the above minute, without any discretionary power 
whatever, to alter the propositions in any way, and it was 
unanimously agreed and determined, that if the Synod 
would not accede to the propositions, that on the fourth 
Tuesday in October ensuing, the whole Council would go 
into a constituted state. The Commissioners accordingly 
went to the Synod ; and after their return, informed us 
that the Synod would not consider our case as a body, but 
as individuals ; neither would they suffer any of our 
preacher? to make the exception to the Confession of 



232 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



Faith. The Commissioners, notwithstanding, obtained an 
order for an intermediate Presbytery "to be held at 
Green Town, to consider the case of Mr. Hodge and 
others." Here, brethren, we will insert for your informa- 
tion, the minute of the last Council, and also the preamble 
to the minute of our first Presbytery. 

" The Council met at. Shilo, agreeably to adjournment 
on the fourth Tuesday in October, 1809. Whereupon Mr. 
King was appointed to the chair, and Thomas Donald 
clerk. The Council opened by prayer. 

" Inquiry was made, what progress the Commissioners 
had made at the Transylvania Presbytery or Synod, 
towards bringing about a reconciliation ; and how those 
Judicatures had treated the propositions of the Council. 
Mr. Hodge, after some preliminary remarks, in which he 
suggested that he thought the Commissioners had obtained 
a compliance with the substance of the Council's proposi- 
tions, read a copy of a petition he had presented to the 
Synod, and the Synod's order on that petition. After the 
matter was discussed, and' after the minute of the last 
Council on that subject was read, and compared with the 
petition and order above, the vote was taken whether or 
not the Synod had complied with the propositions of the 
Council, which was decided in the negative, by a very 
large majority. The vote was then taken, whether or not 
the Council would put the resolution of last Council into 
execution, which went solemnly to declare, that unless the 
Synod acceded to their propositions, they would on this 
day constitute into a Presbytery, which was carried in the 
affirmative by a large majority : after which Messrs. Wil- 
liam and Samuel Hodge, ministers, and Thomas Donald, 
elder, withdrew from the Council, virtually declaring their 
intention to join the Transylvania Presbytery. There 
being then only three ordained ministers present, it wit 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 233 

inquired whether they were now ready to go into a 
constituted state ; when it was found that one of them was 
embarrassed in his mind. The Council then adjourned, 
and met again, waiting the decision of that member : who 
at length declared he could not feel free at the present 
time to constitute. The Council • then, together with all 
the licentiates and candidates present, formed into a 
committee and entered upon a free conversation on the 
subject before them ; when it was finally agreed to, that 
each ordained minister, licentiate, elder, and representa- 
tive should continue in union, and use their influence to 
keep the Societies in union, until the third Tuesday in 
March next ; and then meet at the Ridge meeting house. 
After which, "feach one shall be released from this bond, 
unless previously to that time, three ordained ministers 
belonging to this body shall have constituted a Presbytery. 
Then, in that case, the committee will all consider the 
BOKD of union perpetual; which Presbytery, after doing 
such business as they may think proper, are to adjourn to 
meet at the Ridge meeting house the said third Tuesday 
in March in a Presbyteriai capacity." 

SAMUEL KING, Chairman. 

" In Dixon County, Tennessee State, at the Rev. 
M'Adow's, this 4th day of February, 1810. 

" We, Samuel M'Adow, Finis Ewing, and Samuel 
King, regularly ordained ministers, in the Presbyterian 
Church, against whom no charge, either of immorality or 
heresy has ever been exhibited, before any of the Church 
Judicatures, having waited in vain more than four years, 
in the mean time, petitioning the General Assembly for a 
redress of grievances, and a restoration of our violated 
rights, have, and do hereby agree and determine, to con- 
stitute into a Presbytery, known by the name of the 
Cumberland Presbytery, on the folloAYing conditions: 
20 



234 



B R I E F HISTORICAL. S K E T C II . 



i; Ail candidates for the ministry, who may hereafter b« 
licensed by this Presbytery, and all the licentiates or 
probationers, who may hereafter be ordained by this 
Presbytery, shall be required, before such licensure and 
ordination, to receive and adopt the Confession and Disci- 
pline of the Presbyterian Church, except the idea of 
fatality, that seems to be taught under the mysterious 
doctrine of Predestination. It is to be understood, 
however, that such as can clearly receive the Confession, 
without any exception, shall not be required to make any. 
Moreover, all licentiates before they are set apart to the 
whole work of the ministry, or ordained, shall be required 
to undergo an examination on English Grammar, Geo- 
graphy, Astronomy, Natural and Moral Philosophy, and 
Church History.* The Presbytery may also require an 
examination on all, or any part, of the above branches of 
literature before licensure, if they deem it expedient." 

Thus, brethren, we have, in the integrity of our hearts, 
endeavored to give you as correct and impartial an 
account of the rise and progress of the cause or causes, 
that have brought us into our present situation, as justice 
to ourselves, and our best recollection would admit. We 
have not intentionally and unjustly exposed or covered the 
conduct of any man or Judicature. We have only aimed 
at giving a clear, honest view of the matter, that you 
might be enabled to judge for yourselves whether we have 
acted with propriety or impropriety. 

We think, percipitaney or rashness cannot be justly 
imputed to us in the present case. We have waited in an 
unorganized state, for more than four years, and in that 
time, have repeatedly prayed the Judicatures to redress 



* It will not be understood that examinations on experimental religion and 
Tliookjirv will be omitted. 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



235 



our grievances ; and have not contended for one privilege 
but what we conscientiously believe God's word allows us. 
If we had sought or desired an occasion to make a schism 
in the church, we had an excellent pretext, after the 
unprecedented conduct of the Commission of Synod 
towards us. But instead of this, we voluntarily suspended 
our operations as a Presbytery, and waited from year to 
year, beset on every side, hoping the matter might be 
settled on principles just and equitable. We said " beset 
on every side." Yes, brethren, a number of you know 
that various sectaries took the advantage of our forbear- 
ance and peculiar situation, and endeavored to rend our 
nourishing congregations. The swarms of heretics and 
fanatics also, who came down from the upper counties of 
Kentucky, gave us much perplexity : yet we determined, 
through grace, to stand firm, and continue to appeal to the 
reason and justice of the higher Judicatures, until we 
were assured they were not disposed to restore our rights. 
This assurance we have at length obtained, and there was 
no alternative left us, but either to violate our solemn 
vows to our brethren, act contrary to our reason and 
conscience, or form ourselves into a Presbytery, separate 
from the Kentucky Synod. This step, at first view, may 
alarm some of you ; but be assured, brethren, that 
although we are not now united to the Presbyterian 
Church by the external bond of discipline, that we feel as 
much union in heart as formerly ; and we would further 
assure you, that we have not set up as a party, inimical to 
the general Presbyterian church : no, — we, ourselves, are 
Presbyterians, and expect ever to remain so, whether 
united to the general body or not. 

Permit us further to inform you what we do know to be 
an incontestable fact. That is, there are a number of 
ministers who are kept in the bosom of the Presbyterian 



236 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

Church, who have deviated infinitely more from the Con- 
fession than we have done. One can boldly deny the 
imputation of Christ's active obedience to the sinner in 
justification, and publish it to the world — another can 
deny the operation of the Holy Spirit in the work of 
regeneration,* and yet, we, who only object to the 
unqualified idea of eternal reprobation, cannot be 
indulged in that objection! 

It has been said that if all the ministers belonging to 
the Council, had continued together, and had constituted 
into a Presbytery, it would have been much better. 
Brethren, if individuals, for reasons best known to them- 
selves, and their God, have thought proper to change a 
position in which they thought God had blessed them, we 
have not yet felt at liberty to do likewise. We have to 
account to God, and our own conscience, how we have 
acted in this matter. 

Some have feared because of the smallness of our 
number. Brethren, we have yet left, in the bounds of our 
Presbytery, almost as many ministers, exclusive of candi- 
dates, as our blessed Lord chose to spread the Gospel 
through the world. And whilst we acknowledge the 
greatest inferiority to those twelve champions of the 
Gospel, yet, we profess to believe that neither the standing, 
nor the reputation of a people depends on their numbers. 
If this were admitted, the Roman church, when it was at 
its zenith of superstition and idolatry, would have been 
the most permanent, and respectable in the world. But 
the reformation and subsequent events have taught us that 
that was not the case with her. But notwithstanding some 
individuals have changed their ground, yet, as far as we 



*Sce Mr. Davis' publication in South Carolina, ami Mr. Craighead's of 
Tennessee. 



L K l E F II I S T B I C A L S K E T II . 2']7 

have learned, but very few of the numerous and respecta- 
ble societies or congregations have abandoned us : and 
some individuals of those few, were partly constrained 
to do as they have done, from their local situation. 

Some of you are afraid you cannot be supplied by the 
Presbytery. Brethren, the same Almighty Lord of the 
harvest, who heard your prayers on that subject ten years 
ago, is willing to hear again. Is the harvest indeed great 
and the laborers few ? well then, pray the Lord to send 
more laborers. 

Some fear lest the Presbytery should take too much 
liberty in licensing and ordaining unlearned men. If by 
this you mean, you are afraid the Presbytery, in some 
instances, will dispense with the dead languages, your fears 
are well grounded. But if you are afraid we will license 
and ordain without a good English education, we hope 
your fears are without foundation. And while we thus 
candidly declare our intention to receive men as candi- 
dates, without a knowledge of the languages, who are men 
of good talents, and who appear to be evidently called 
of God, believing, as we do, that there are thousands in 
the Presbyterian Church of such description, who would 
make more able, respectable, and more useful ministers of 
Jesus Christ, than many who say they have been brought 
up at the feet of Gamaliel : we would nevertheless 
recommend it to all parents who have sons who promise 
fair for the ministry, to have them taught the Greek 
language, especially the Greek Testament. Some of us 
intend to do ourselves what we here recommend, and 
thereby more fully convince you of our sincerity. 

We would just add, that we have it in view as a Pres- 
bytery, to continue, or make another proposition to the 
Synod of Kentucky, or some other Synod, for a re-union. 
If we can obtain it without violating our natural and 



238 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



Scriptural rights, it will meet the most ardent wish of our 
hearts; if we cannot, we hope to be enabled to commit 
ourselves and cause to Him who is able to keep us. 
Brethren, if we live at the feet of the Redeemer, and feel 
constant dependence on Him, we are not afraid but that 
he will be our God and director. And if God be for us, 
who can be against us? We therefore entreat you, 
brethren, to ivatch and be sober. 

Cultivate friendship with all societies of Christians, who 
maintain the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, and 
whose lives comport with their profession; but avoid the 
multitude of deceivers, who have gone out into the world, 
and strike at the root of all real religion. Avoid them, 
we entreat you, as you would the open enemies of the 
cross of Christ. 

Gird on the whole armor of God. Fight the good 
fight of faith, live in peace, and the God of peace shall 
be with you. Amen. 

SAMUEL M'ADOW, Moderator. 

Test. YOUNG EWING, Clerk. 

Notwithstanding the peculiar difficulties with which this 
infant Church has had to contend, its members have 
continued to increase, and every year has augured more 
and more favorably for its stability. 

The first Presbytery became so much enlarged in the 
course of three years, that in April, 1813, at the Beach 
meeting house, Tennessee, it was resolved to divide it 
and form three subordinate Judicatories, which should 
constitute a Synod. The following minute is the preamble 
to this decision, and presents a pleasing prospect of the 
gradual increase of Cumberland Presbyterians : 

" Whereas, the Cumberland Presbytery have made 
©very reasonable effort for a re-union with the Presbyterian 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



239 



Church ; and whereas, the extent of our bounds and the 
number and local situation of our members, now render it 
inconvenient to do business in but one Presbytery ; and 
whereas, the constitution of a Synod is desirable, and we 
hope will be productive of good consequences in various 
ways, particularly as a tribunal having appellant jurisdic- 
tion: Resolved," etc. 

Five of the members were ordered to meet at Mt. 
Oarmel meeting house, Tennessee, on the first Tuesday of 
the ensuing August, to constitute the Elk Presbytery, 
and four others were appointed to constitute the Logan 
Presbytery, on the fifth Tuesday of the same month, at 
Red River meeting house, Kentucky. These Presbyteries 
were directed to meet the Cumberland Presbytery on the 
fifth of the next October at the Beach meeting house, 
Tennessee, to constitute the Cumberland Synod, which was 
done accordingly. 

Soon after the close of the late war, the tide of 
emigration began to flow rapidly westward, which greatly 
multiplied demands for preaching ; so that it seemed for a 
time, utterly impossible to meet them. The members of 
the Church, however, were requested by Synod to 
observe the fourth Monday of May, 1817, as a day of 
fasting and prayer to Almighty God to revive his work 
and send forth more laborers into his vineyard. The 
Great Head of Zion evidently heard the cries of his 
people ; the succeeding summer was a time of much 
interest to the Church ; and in the fall many young men 
of promising talents became candidates for the ministry. 
This added fresh life to the body, and inspired new 
settlements of the West and South with a hope of yet 
being supplied with preaching. This hope was not 
disappointed. A goodly number of young laborers soon 
entered the field for the purpose of gathering up the 



.240 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

scattered disciples of Christ, and to call guilty multitudes 
to repentance. The consequence was, those that had been 
sighing in the wilderness and weeping by the water 
courses, because there was none to break to them the 
bread of life, were made to cry out how beautiful upon the 
mountains are the feet 1 of him that bring eth good tidings 
of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, 
thy Grod reigneth. Stupid sinners were also awakened, 
and many precious revivals of religion immediately com- 
menced. 

Here was discovered more clearly than ever, the provi- 
dence of God in raising up the Cumberland Presbyterians. 
A large portion of the western population were partial to 
the Presbyterian form of Church government, though they 
could not receive all their doctrinal sentiments. But had 
the Presbyterian sentiments been generally embraced, still 
they were at that time comparatively without funds to 
educate ministers, or to send them into the field after they 
were educated, and there were no prospects of salaries 
from the frontiers ; therefore, but few of their clergymen 
were to be found in the whitened harvest of the West. It 
is also true, that the peculiarities of the Methodists and 
Baptists were thought by many to be unsupported by the 
word of God ; consequently they were unwilling to place 
themselves and families under the ministry of either 
denomination. At this important crisis, the Lord of the 
harvest was pleased to raise up the Cumberland Presbyte- 
rians, and direct them to take a midway stand between 
Calvinism and Arminianism ; and to open a school for the 
purpose of qualifying men for the ministry that had been 
previously unknown in the Presbyterian Church, viz : an 
itinerant school. In this seminary, scores of young 
heralds of the cross were fitted for the sacred desk, and 
strange as it may appear, many of them far surpassed the 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 241 

College missionaries of the East. While some were 
waiting for Education Societies to open the door for them 
into the ministry, and others who had already entered, 
were waiting for Missionary Societies to send them into 
the field, these Cumberland Pioneers moved on with the 
tide of emigration, submitting to all the privations and 
hardships peculiar to new settlements, with but little 
prospect of any reward in this life, except the pleasure of 
saving souls. Upon the whole, I firmly believe, that 
thousands are now in heaven, and others are on their way 
thither, who never would have been saved, had it not been 
for the labors of Cumberland Presbyterians, and that God 
has yet an important part for them to act in spreading the 
conquest of the Redeemer's Cross. 

The following brief sketch of the constitution of the 
several Presbyteries, will show the rapid growth of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in the course of the 
last twelve years. 

At Sugg's Creek, Tennessee, October 22, 1819, the 
McGee Presbytery was stricken off from the Logan Pres- 
bytery, by an order of Synod, and ordered to be consti- 
tuted in Missouri, (then a Territory,) on the fourth Tues- 
day of May following. 

The Synod in session at Russellville, October 18, 1821, 
divided the Elk Presbytery, and directed two new Presby- 
teries to be constituted — one to be known by the name of 
the Alabama, and the other the Tennessee Presbytery. At 
this Synod, also, the Anderson Presbytery was stricken off 
from the Logan Presbytery, and the Lebanon from the 
Nashville Presbytery. 

By an order of Synod, at the Beach meeting house, 
Tennessee, October 16, 1822, the Illinois Presbytery was 
Stricken off from Anderson and McGee Presbyteries. 

On the 24th of October, 1823, by the authority of 
21 



242 BKIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

Synod, at Russell ville, the Alabama Presbytery, owing to 
the remote situation of its members from each other, the 
difficulty of meeting in time of high water, etc., was 
dissolved, and a part of its members, with two from the 
Tennessee Presbytery, were appointed to constitute the 
Bigby Presbytery. The balance of the members of Ala- 
bama were attached to the Tennessee Presbytery. At 
this same Synod, the McGee Presbytery was divided for 
the purpose of constituting the Arkansas Presbytery. 

At Cane Creek meeting house, October 22, 1824, 
owing to additions to the ministry, change of residence, 
etc., preachers were appointed by Synod to re-organize 
the Alabama Presbytery. At this session, the Hopewell 
Presbytery was also stricken off from the Nashville Pres- 
bytery. It was, moreover, deemed indispensable either to 
divide the Synod and form a General Assembly, or revise 
the Constitution of the Church, so as to admit of a dele- 
gated Synod. The question was therefore submitted to 
the consideration of the several Presbyteries. 

At the Synod at Princeton, Kentucky, October 25, 
1825, the Anderson Presbytery was divided, and the 
Indiana Presbytery required to be constituted. 

A constitutional majority of the Presbyteries reported 
to this Synod in favor of a General Assembly. 

After discussing the question at some length, by mutual 
consent, a decision was postponed till another meeting of 
the Synod. 

At this session, Commissioners were appointed to select 
a site for Cumberland College. They met in January 
following, and after examining several places, decided in 
favor of the vicinity of Princeton. The institution went 
into practical operation on the first day of the ensuing 
March, on the manual labor plan. It now numbers about 
sixty students, and is in a tolerably flourishing condition. 



BRIE1? HISTORICAL SKETCH. 243 

No new Presbyteries were formed in 1826. 

The Barnett and Knoxville Presbyteries were appointed 
to be constituted, by order of Synod in session at Russell- 
ville, Kentucky, November 21, 182T. The former was 
taken from the McGree and the latter from the Lebanon 
Presbyteries. 

October 21, 1828, the Synod at Franklin, Tennessee, 
ordered the St. Louis Presbytery to be constituted, and to 
be taken from the Arkansas Presbytery. Also Princeton 
Presbytery was stricken from Anderson and the Sanga- 
mon from Illinois Presbyteries. 

The subject of Temperance was discussed at this 
session of Synod, and the following resolution unanimously 
adopted : — 

" Resolved, That the preachers belonging to the Cum- 
berland Presbyterian Church, both ordained and licensed, 
and likewise the different members, be requested to unite 
in discountenancing the unnecessary use of ardent spirits 
in their several congregations and families, and whereever 
else their influence may extend." 

Pursuant to this resolution, Temperance Associations 
have been formed throughout the bounds of the Church, 
and hundreds and thousands have been induced to abandon 
entirely the use of the intoxicating fluid. 

The subject of a General Assembly was again brought 
before the Synod, while in session at Franklin, and after 
considerable discussion, it was resolved to come to a 
decision on this important matter. Before the vote was 
taken, an aged member arose and recited the solemn 
manner in which the first Presbytery was constituted. 
The fear of God seemed to fall on every mind, and 
breathless silence pervaded the house for several minutes. 
It was then proposed that the oldest preacher present, 
should implore direction from heaven. The Rev. Jas. B. 



244 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

Porter, being the oldest member present, was called on to 
discharge this duty. Before prayer, he recurred in a 
brief, but feeling manner, to the difficulties through which 
Cumberland Presbyterians had already passed, and to the 
kind providence of God, that had been displayed in their 
protection. During prayer, much access seemed to be 
enjoyed to a throne of grace ; and every member of the 
house appeared to realize his responsibility to the Great 
Head of the Church, for the part he was about to act. 
The votes were then called for — when it appeared a large 
majority were in favor of a General Assembly. 

The Cumberland Synod was then, by mutual consent, 
divided, and the four following Synods ordered to be 
constituted, viz : The Missouri Synod, embracing the 
McGee, Barnett, Illinois, St. Louis, Sangamon and 
Arkansas Presbyteries : the Green River Synod, com- 
posed of the Logan, Anderson, Indiana and Princeton 
Presbyteries : the Franklin Synod, embracing the Nash- 
ville, Lebanon, Knoxville and Hopewell Presbyteries : the 
Columbia Synod, consisting of the Elk, Tennessee, Bigby, 
and Alabama Presbyteries. 

The bounds of these Synods have been much enlarged 
since they were constituted, and the following new Pres- 
byteries formed, viz : Within the limits of the Green River 
Synod, the Kentucky, Washington and Wabash Presbyte- 
ries : in Franklin Synod, the Eorked-Deer and Hatchey 
Presbyteries : and in the Columbia Synod, the Elyton and 
Mississippi Presbyteries. 

It will be seen from this brief sketch, that Cumberland 
Presbyterians have, at present, twenty-five Presbyteries, 
four Synods, and a General Assembly. 

Their number of preachers is thought to be near four 
hundred, besides many candidates for the ministry. But 
inasmuch as a statistical account of their congregations 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 245 

and ministers has never yet been made out, their numeri 
cal strength cannot at this time be certainly known. 
Some have expressed surprise that this should have been 
neglected until so late a period. It is my view, however, 
very far from being a censurable omission. Too frequent 
a display of numbers has always seemed to me to savor of 
ostentation ; and I have thought such conduct was apt to 
beget an undue and unsanctified eagerness for the procure- 
ment of numbers. Nevertheless, as there appears to be 
so much anxiety among other denominations, to know the 
number of members in the Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church, and some very inaccurate conjectures have 
recently been published on this subject, it is probable their 
statistics will be shortly submitted to the public. 

The operations of Cumberland Presbyterians have 
heretofore been principally confined to the following 
portion of the valley of the Mississippi, viz: The States 
of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
Illinois, Indiana, and the Arkansas Territory. This year, 
however, they have had a most glorious revival in the 
western part of the State of Pennsylvania, the influence 
of which is felt to some extent in the State of New York. 
Several flourishing societies have recently been formed 
in that section of country — and the work is still pro- 
gressing. 

They have kept up the practice of holding camp- 
meetings in their congregations, ever since their organiza- 
tion as a body. Indeed, this custom was first introduced 
by that part of the Presbyterian Church, that afterwards 
became Cumberland Presbyterians. About three hundred 
of these meetings are now held every year, at which many 
profess to obtain religion : on some occasions two hundred 
and upwards. 

At first, this denomination, like all other branches of 



246 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



the Church, while in infancy, met with considerable 
opposition from other sectaries. They have, however, 
been blessed with much union in feeling and effort, as well 
as in doctrine, among themselves, and have ever kept 
their pulpits and communion open to all orthodox 
Christians. 

They have cordially united with other denominations in 
advancing the benevolent enterprises of the present day. 
The salutary influence of Sabbath Schools is felt, to a 
considerable extent throughout their bounds, and they 
have had for several years a Missionary School in the 
Chickasaw nation. It has recently, however, been deemed 
expedient to close the operations of this institution, owing 
to the unsettled state of the Indians. 

On the subject of the doctrines of Cumberland Presby- 
terians, I need say but little, inasmuch as their Confession 
of Faith has long since been before the public. I will 
subjoin, however, the following extract from Buck's Theo- 
logical Dictionary, which will give a brief outline of their 
views. 

1st. " They hold that Adam was made upright, pure and free ; that he 
was necessarily under the moral law, which binds all intelligences ; and 
having transgressed it, he was consequently, with all his posterity ex- 
posed to eternal punishment and misery. 

2d. That Christ, the second Adam, represented just as many as the 
first, consequently made an atonement for all, " which will he testified in 
due time." But that the benefit of that atonement will be only received 
by the true believer. 

3d. That all Adam's family are totally depraved, " conceived in sin ; 
going astray from the womb, and all children of wrath ;" therefore must 
" be born again ;" justified and sanctified, or they never can enter into 
the kingdom of God. 

4th. That justification is by faith alone as the Instrument ; by the 
merits of Christ's active and passive obedience, as the meritorious cause ; 
and by the operation of God's Spirit, as the efficient, or active cause. 

5th. That as the sinner is justified on the account of Christ's righte- 
ousness being imputed or accounted to him ; on the same account he 
will be enabled to go on from one degree of grace to another, in a pro- 



BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 



247 



gressive life of sanctification, until -he is fitted to be gathered into the 
garner of God ; who will certainly take to glory every one who has 
been really justified; thai is, he, Christ, has become wisdom, (light to 
convince) righteousness, (to justify) sanctification, (to cleanse) and 
redemption, (to glorify) to every truly regenerated soul. 

6th. That there are three persons in one God, co-equal, essential, and 
eternal ; or the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost : that the mediator is 
very God and very man ; two distinct natures in one person ; therefore 
while the humanity obeys and suffers, there is infinite worth or merit 
given to that obedience and suffering, by the union of the divinity. 

They dissent from the Confession — in, 1st, That there are no eternal 
reprobates. 2d, That Christ died not for a part only, but for all mankind. 
3d, That all infants, dying in infancy, are saved through Christ, and 
sanctification of the Spirit. 4th, That the Spirit of God operates on the 
world, or as co-extensively as Christ has made the atonement, in such a 
manner as to leave all men inexcusable. 

As to the doctrines of predestination and election, they think, (with 
many eminent and modest divines who have written on the subject,) 
they are mysterious, and they are not well pleased with the application 
that rigid Calvinists, or Arminians, make of them. They think the 
truth, on that, as well as many other points in divinity, lies between the 
opposite extremes. They are confident, however, that those doctrines 
should not, on the one hand be so construed as to make any thing the 
creature has done, or can do, at all meritorious in his salvation ; or to lay 
any ground to say " well done I ;" or to take the least degree of the 
honor of our justification and perseverance from God's unmerited grace, 
and Christ's pure righteousness. On the other hand, they are equally 
confident those doctrines should not be so construed as to make God the 
author of sin, directly or indirectly ; either of Adam's sin, or any subse- 
quent sin of his fallen race ; or to contradict the express and repeated 
declarations of God's word, on the extent of the atonement and opera- 
tions of the Spirit ; or to contradict the sincerity of God's expostulations 
with sinners, and make his oath to have no meaning, when he swears 
he has no pleasure in their death ; or to resolve the whole character of 
the Deity into his sovereignty, without a due regard to all other of his 
adorable attributes. Finally, they think those doctrines ought to be 
thought and spoken of in a consistency with God's moral government, 
which always has for its object the happiness of his intelligent creatures, 
when it consists with his justice, and the honor of the divine throne." 

They baptize infants, where one or both the parents are 
believers in Christ, and permit believing adults, who have 
not been baptized in infancy, to select their own mode of 



248 BRIEF HISTORICAL SKETCH. 

baptism. They are induced to grant this privilege from a 
belief that the Bible neither specifies the quantity of 
water to be used in baptism, nor the mode of receiving it. 
Therefore, they think the subjects of this ordinance have 
as good a right to a choice for themselves, as communicants 
have at the Lord's Table, some of whom take more bread 
and wine, and others a less quantity. Cumberland Pres- 
byterians view these two ordinances equal in point of 
importance, and do not feel at liberty to impose restrictions 
in administering them, where the word of God imposes 
none. 



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